Vitality County Championship Preview: Durham v Somerset



Somerset travel to The Seat Unique Riverside Ground, Chester-le-Street this week to take on Durham in the Vitality County Championship First Division.

Day one of this fixture is due to get underway tomorrow (Friday May 24th).

Somerset are currently second in the Vitality County Championship Division One table with 96 points from our six fixtures, whilst Durham are seventh with 64 points form the same number of matches.


Morning session: 11am to 1pm
Afternoon session: 1:40pm to 3:40pm
Evening session: 4pm to 6pm


You can keep up to date using the dedicated Match Centre on this website which will feature a live stream of the action courtesy of Durham CCC.

In-play updates will also appear on our X feed (formerly Twitter).


Don’t forget that we have introduced the Trade Nation Win Predictor on our Match Centre in 2024.

The predictor, which is powered by CricViz and commonly used across the game as ‘WinViz’, is utilised by broadcasters around the world to help viewers get an accurate impression of which team is winning at any given moment.

In addition to this, a report on the day’s play along with quotes will be posted on this website.


Captain: Scott Borthwick
Head Coach: Ryan Campbell
2023 finish: Champions (Division Two)
2023 highest run-scorer: Alex Lees (1,347)
2023 highest wicket-taker: Ben Raine (60)

What can we expect?: Durham will not be returning to Division One to just survive. You just know with the positivity their coach Ryan Campbell exudes that they will be aiming big. Campbell has made no secret of his contempt for draws, so strap yourselves in, this could be a fun ride.

Key winter moves: Australia cult-hero Scott Boland has signed an overseas deal until the end of July; the seamer could play as many as nine Vitality County Championship matches alongside South Africa batter David Bedingham, who returns for a full summer. England Lions left-arm spinner Callum Parkinson and experienced Netherlands batter Colin Ackermann have signed from Leicestershire, while club legend Graham Onions returns as lead bowling coach from Lancashire with a burgeoning coaching reputation.

One to watch: Alex Lees, last season’s leading run-scorer in Division Two, was in possession of an England opener’s berth at the start of the Brendon McCullum-Ben Stokes era and will be desperate to regain his place. Loves to dominate from the off.

Final thought: Durham’s seam bowling unit has a fearsome look about it heading into 2024. Boland will begin his maiden county campaign with big expectations, while fellow quicks Ben Raine and Matthew Potts both topped 50 wickets in Division Two last season. Then there are the likes of Brydon Carse, Bas de Leede, Paul Coughlin and young gun Ollie Gibson. Add in the wily left-arm spinner Parkinson and you can see why there is plenty of excitement building in the North East.


Tom Abell returns to the squad for the first time this season following his hamstring injury, whilst Matt Renshaw is set to complete his spell with the Club at the conclusion of this game.

Somerset have named the following squad for the fixture: Lewis Gregory, Matt Renshaw, Tom Abell, Tom Lammonby, Tom Banton, Andy Umeed, James Rew, Craig Overton, Migael Pretorius, Josh Davey, Jake Ball, Jack Leach and Shoaib Bashir.


Ahead of the match, Somerset Head Coach, Jason Kerr said: “Confidence is really high in the dressing room and we want to end this block of Championship cricket with a win before we head into the Blast.

“We’re pleased to be able to include Tom Abell in the squad for the first time this summer. It’s been a challenging couple of months for him especially given the amount of work that he’d put in during the winter. He’s worked incredibly hard over the last few weeks and is excited to be back with us. It’s fantastic for the group to have him back and it’s exciting that we have so much competition for places throughout the squad.

“Matt Renshaw has once again been outstanding for us on the park. He loves the Club and has certainly become a fan favourite. His contribution last week just epitomised what a class player he is and there’s no doubt that he will be missed.

“It’s been a while since we played at Durham in four-day cricket. They are a strong side but we know that if we want to be successful we need to beat good teams so we’re certainly looking forward to the next four days.”


We head back to 1995 for our classic First Class match between the two sides.

Somerset visited the Riverside Ground in August of that year and came away with a comprehensive victory courtesy of a stellar performance with both bat and ball by Andy Caddick.

Andy Hayhurst won the toss and elected to bat first. However, Somerset slipped to 114 for five. Graham Rose (48) and Rob Turner (65) got the innings back on track.

The visitors were still in a spot of bother at 212 for eight, but Caddick blasted his way past his previous highest First Class score to reach 61 and shared a last wicket stand of 62 with Andre van Troost (28) as Somerset posted a first innings total of 333 all out.

Not content to take the headlines with the bat, Caddick then tore Durham apart with the ball finishing with eight for 69 from 19.4 overs as the hosts were all out for 221.

Hayhurst (107) and Richard Harden (100 not out) ensured that Somerset had reached 390 for five when the declaration came.

Mushtaq Ahmed then claimed five for 60 as Durham were all out for 216 to give Somerset the win by 286 runs.

Caddick finished the match with 10 for 131.


The 2024 season is now upon us and that means another summer of elite cricket at the Cooper Associates County Ground, the sound of leather on willow and the return of the WPA Predictions League.

Powered by WPA Health Insurance, the game allows you to test your cricket knowledge against your friends and colleagues by scoring points during every Somerset match.

Your correct predictions will transfer into points, and you will be able to monitor your progress on the leaderboard.

The person with the most points at the end of the season in each competition will win a prize!

All you have to do is predict, watch and win!

Good luck!



If you are planning to attend the match, all the information you need can be found on the official Durham CCC Website.



Our next match is on Friday May 31st when we take on Essex Eagles in the Vitality Blast at the Cooper Associates County Ground.

This match is a double header and also includes Western Storm against Sunrisers in the Charlotte Edwards Cup.

Tickets for the game are still available!