It is important for the bowlers to get overs in and batters to get time out in the middle, but the hindrance of the game is the weather, which is set to play a pivotal role during the course of the game.
Carse among strong Durham side
South African 20-year-old seamer Brydon Carse is a notable inclusion in Durham’s side, he will be one to look out for, and the bowler will be making his first-class debut in the game.
Mark Wood, who is available for Sunday’s season opener, Ben Stokes and Paul Collingwood will not play any part against the students, but they are in contention for the Somerset game.
Mark Stoneman will captain Durham in the three-day match, and it is business as usual for the rest of the side, who will be looking to make a claim to be in Sunday’s side that faces Somerset.
It has become a bit of a ritual over the years that the unofficial first game of the season will be against the students, and last years contest didn’t disappoint.
Durham came out on top in the same match last year
Keaton Jennings starred with the bat as he struck an unbeaten 177 in the first innings against the same opposition last year, and England hopeful Scott Borthwick scored 104 as Durham notched up 448 for four declared.
Graham Onions took four first-innings wickets with the students being bowled out for 159 before Durham’s batters had their second chance of the match to get some time out in the middle.
Calum MacLeod hit an unbeaten 43 to help Durham set the students a target of 549 to win the game, but as expected, the professionals eased home.
The contest was done and dusted inside the three days, Borthwick took four wickets and Chris Rushworth took three to help Durham cruise to a convincing 379 run win.
Students clinch draw with Glouscestershire last week
Durham’s opponents, Durham MCCU, were in action last week as they took on Gloucestershire at the County Ground in Bristol, and they managed to draw the game.
Ian Cockbain top-scored for the hosts as they went on to make 348 for seven declared in their first-innings, however, the students didn’t shy away from the contest with their efforts.
Will Phillips picked up three first-innings wickets, while Charlie MacDonnell top-scored when it came to batting as the students managed to make 288.
Cockbain starred with the bat once again, going one better in the second innings, striking an unbeaten 129 to set the students a target of 309 runs to win on the final day of the match.
Robert Gibson, who made 44 in the first innings, kept the innings together and finished unbeaten on 64, which helped the students avoid defeat after they were eight down with 16 overs remaining.