David Bedingham, Graham Clark pile on runs in Durham promotion party

Graham Clark made his second century of the season Getty Images

Durham 409 for 5 (Bedingham 130*, Clark 119, Borthwick 63) vs Leicestershire

Graham Clark and David Bedingham both scored hundreds as Division 2 winners Durham looked to end the season with a victory as they piled on the runs on day 1 of their LV=Insurance County Championship Division 2 fixture against Leicestershire.

Leicestershire looked to have made the correct decision at the toss to bowl as they dismissed Alex Lees for 6. However, Michael Jones and Scott Borthwick put on 99 for the second wicket to check their progress at Seat Unique Riverside.

The visitors then fought back in the early afternoon as they dismissed Borthwick and Jones either side of lunch, before Ollie Robinson fell in a spell of 3 for 34.

Bedingham and Clark stole the initiative and the momentum of the day, as they shared a 208-run partnership in the mid-afternoon and early evening as Durham looked to finish the season on a high after being confirmed as winners last week.

On a week of celebration for the North East outfit as they ended their seven-year absence from Division 1, the sun hid away early on as Leicestershire won the toss and decided to bowl on an overcast morning at Chester-le-Street.

They were rewarded early on when Chris Wright pinned Lees to dismiss the leading run scorer in the County Championship for 6 in the fifth over of the game.

The ball moved around early on, Jones very fortunate to not be bowled by an absolute snorter by Wright that somehow didn't take the edge of the bat or remove his off stump.

However, Durham were not dissuaded by this and carried on in the same way they have done all season, applying pressure back onto the bowlers with their positive approach to batting with Jones and skipper Scott Borthwick.

Borthwick took the aggressor role in the partnership and went to 50 off 45 balls with a clip through midwicket as Leicestersire tried desperately for a breakthrough to try and keep their slim promotion hopes alive.

The visitors broke the partnership on 99 when Tom Scriven had Borthwick caught behind by Ben Cox standing up to the stumps just before lunch for a punchy 63, following his unbeaten 134 against Worcester.

One brought two as Jones was bowled by Scriven first ball after the lunch break for 37, after surviving the moving ball earlier on in the day as the lights were intermittently.

Their resistance continued as Ollie Robinson clipped Scriven to mid wicket in a burst of 3 for 34 as they looked to make the most of their decision to bowl first.

However, the afternoon momentum then turned back to the hosts as Bedingham and Clark shared a 50-run partnership as the change bowlers failed to exert the same control and pressure.

Clark moved to 50 off 52 balls as his comeback season in red ball continued in fine fettle, and Bedingham got his half century off 67 deliveries as the pair shifted momentum back towards the champions.

The pair moved past the 100 partnership with ease, bringing Durham their 50th batting bonus point and thus a new club record for most batting points achieved in a single season.

Leicestershire looked devoid of bowling options outside of Wright and Scriven as the pitch favoured batting, as Bedingham and Clark eased through the gears in the afternoon session following the loss of Robinson.

Clark then moved to his third century of the season with a pull through the leg side Louis Kimber's off spin, before Wright returned with the new ball to pin him LBW for a superb 119.

Bedingham went to his fifth century of the season and 10th in a Durham shirt off 158 balls with a gentle push through the covers as Durham looked to assert total dominance of the game, before bad light brought a slightly premature end to the day.

Leics 3rd innings Partnerships

1st23RK PatelST Evans
2nd10LJ HillST Evans
3rd3Umar AminLJ Hill
4th20LJ HillLPJ Kimber
5th1LJ HillHJ Swindells
6th8OB CoxLJ Hill
7th29OB CoxTAR Scriven
8th0CJC WrightOB Cox
9th78OB CoxWS Davis
10th1OB CoxJ Hull