Durham on top as 23 wickets tumble in day against Pears

England captain Ben Stokes
England Test captain Ben Stokes hit 56 and took a wicket as he appeared in successive Championship home games for Durham for the first time in 10 years [Rex Features]

Vitality County Championship Division One, Seat Unique Riverside (day one)

Durham 190: Stokes 56; Smith 4-36, Allison 3-57 & 33-3: Smith 2-17

Worcestershire 112: Kashif Ali 55; Potts 4-29, Raine 3-33

Durham 3 pts, Worcestershire 3 pts

Match scorecard

Ben Stokes top-scored with his first half-century of the season on a remarkable first day at Chester-le-Street as 23 wickets fell on a day full of drama in the County Championship match between Durham and Worcestershire.

Stokes made 56 in a welcome return to form for the home side in their innings of 190.

But New Zealander Nathan Smith again impressed for the visitors by taking six wickets in the day.

He took 4-36 in the first innings, while on-loan Essex man Ben Allison claimed 3-57, and former Yorkshire all-rounder Matthew Waite weighed in with 2-43 as Durham were bowled out in the 49th over.

Worcestershire then looked to be making steady inroads in their reply at 71-2.

But, with only Kashif Ali stemming the tide, last man out for 55, the Pears then lost their final eight wickets for 41 runs as Matthew Potts claimed 4-29 to bolster his own credentials for selection in the first Test of the summer.

Ben Raine (3-33) and Australia veteran Peter Siddle, with 2-20 on his last appearance, also got among the wickets, while Stokes himself got the key Pears wicket of acting captain Jake Libby.

Durham began their second innings with a 78-run lead but lost three quick wickets before the close.

Alex Lees, home skipper Scott Borthwick and Graham Clark all fell for the hosts, with Smith and Tom Taylor among the wickets.

That left the contest very much in the balance heading into day two as Durham led by 111 runs at the close - but with a distinct chance that this game might be all over by Monday night.