LV County Championship - Division One
Riverside - Day Four
Somerset 352-8 dec (Z de Bruyn 120, P D Trego 68, J C Hildreth 54, S J Harmison 4-72) & 193-5 dec (M E Trescothick 50) v Durham 261 (M D Stoneman 53, L E Plunkett 52) & 113-4 (D M Benkenstein 50)
Durham (8pts) drew with Somerset (11pts)
Durham overcame the jitters to hold on for a draw after being set 285 to win off 52 overs.
The hosts slipped to 8-2 as opener Mark Stoneman made only one before edging Steffan Jones to wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter.
Then in the next over Will Smith edged left-armer Charl Willoughby to second slip when aiming to leg.
But the dependable Dale Benkenstein and opener Michael Di Venuto put on 95 in 29 overs to thwart the Somerset attack, although when they fell in quick succession the door was left ajar.
Benkenstein pulled his ninth four in front of mid-wicket to reach 50, but went to drive the next ball from Peter Trego well wide of off stump and got a big inside edge onto his stumps.
Ben Harmison then survived a first-ball lbw appeal before Di Venuto departed in the next over, caught off bat and pad at short leg off Ian Blackwell's left-arm spin having made 44 from 107 balls.
Harmison and Phil Mustard blocked out the next eight overs before Somerset settled for the draw which had always looked likely after the first four sessions were lost to the weather.
Somerset earlier declared on 193-5 to leave their opponents what appeared to be a pre-determined target, blazing away first thing before James Hildreth and Blackwell added a leisurely 68 in 19 overs to set up the chase.
But the early wickets backfired on them, with Benkenstein and Di Venuto forced to shut up shot and settle for the draw.
Somerset rolled Durham over for 261 on the penultimate day but will need quick runs on Monday to give themselves any chance of forcing a win.
The visitors will go into the final day leading by 107 with all second innings wickets standing after doing well to skittle their opponents on a placid pitch.
Somerset added 28 runs in the morning to pinch another batting point before declaring but Durham got their reply off to a good start with Michael Di Venuto (40) and Mark Stoneman (53) adding 68 for the first wicket.
But the loss of Di Venuto, edging Charl Willoughby to slip, triggered a mini-collapse with the hosts slipping from 114-1 to 145 for six, but Liam Plunkett shared stands of 56 with Phil Mustard and 50 with Callum Thorp to steady the ship before he was out for 52.
Somerset had nine overs to bat and reached 16 for no wicket, although Neil Edwards survived a huge appeal for caught behind during another testing spell by Steve Harmison.
Zander de Bruyn scored his second successive LV County Championship century as Somerset reached 324-6 against Durham at Chester-le-Street.
The 33-year-old South African followed his 103 in the defeat by Yorkshire at Taunton with 120 as the visitors made good use of their 74 overs following the loss of the first four sessions.
Somerset skipper Justin Langer's decision to bat first looked like the wrong call after Steve Harmison's fine early spell left them struggling at 42-3.
Harmison took three wickets in six balls and almost made it four in seven as De Bruyn survived a confident lbw appeal.
But there were no further scares for the all-rounder as he shared stands of 97 with James Hildreth and 100 with Peter Trego, who remained unbeaten on 67.
The first day of Durham's Championship match against Somerset was washed out by heavy rain.
After the debacle of the late postponement of the Twenty20 Cup match against Yorkshire, another day of lost play is a further frustration for the home county.