They began the day with hopes of quick wickets, of seeing the back of Benkenstein and Collingwood to get into the Durham tail, but nothing of the sort took place. The not out pair overnight added another 71 runs to extend their steady partnership. Once both batsmen had been dismissed they had put their side exactly 100 runs ahead, and Phil Mustard was playing positively.
Mustard forged partnerships of 39 with Collingwood and 72 with number nine batsman Callum Thorp. Thorp was eventually last man out for 32, four runs better off than any Surrey batsman has managed in this match. A lot of lbw appeals went begging for Surrey, including one involving Mustard when he was initially given out but then reprieved.
By the time Surrey finally ended the innings they were looking at a 181 run deficit, Durham's total of 310 was by a distance the best first innings total at the Riverside in 2012. They also recorded their best fifth and eighth wicket partnerships of the season.
Conditions were far better for batting today than yesterday, bringing further into question the decision to bat first, but it was another day to forget for Surrey in the field. For the second consecutive match we contributed 10% of the opposition's total in extras, Jon Lewis was again particularly culpable, handing over 14 runs in no balls and significantly contributing to an over rate which was at times minus three (and could result in another penalty point).
Another disciplined Durham bowling performance got them off to a good start. Ansari fell victim to a fine Collingwood catch off Rushworth for just one in the seventh over and Arun Harinath registered another disappointing innings with the bat, he was leg before to Stokes in the 15th. De Bruyn completed another in a string of matches to forget when he was run out for five, Roy became Stokes' second lbw victim and Steven Davies then fell with less than two overs remaining as he became the third wicket to fall in the final ten overs of the day.
The Surrey players will be hoping against hope that somehow Rory Burns and their tail end can mount a mammoth resistance, knock off the 112 run deficit and then build something resembling a lead. As we saw in the Middlesex game at Durham even a total of just over a hundred can be dangerous in the fourth innings. But Stokes' excellent performance with the ball this match, and the presence of Graham Onions in the opposition bowling attack make that a remote possibility.