Durham 356 for 6 (Bedingham 184*, Dickson 120) vs Leicestershire
Scott Borthwick’s men were reduced to 34 for 3 after an accurate start from the visitors, but Bedingham and Dickson stabilised the innings with a brilliant partnership worth 231 for the fourth wicket.
Bedingham continued his imperious form from the 2021 campaign with a flawless hundred displaying incredible array of strokes. He was supported by the determined Dickson, who replaced the injured Alex Lees at the top of the order and scored his first Durham century in red-ball cricket. Bedingham remained unbeaten at the close on 184, with the hosts well poised to secure maximum batting points.
Durham were put in to bat first without the services of their centurion from Glamorgan, Lees, due to a back injury. Leicestershire made an early breakthrough to capitalise with the new ball as Chris Wright removed opener Michael Jones for 5.
Keegan Petersen was thrust into the Durham line-up after arriving in the North East on Wednesday. However, the South African’s debut lasted only 15 deliveries after he played-on with a loose drive from Will Davis’ third ball of the day. Borthwick endured a torrid 27-ball knock that was ended by a quality spell of bowling from Ed Barnes, reducing the hosts to 34 for 3.
In need of a partnership, Dickson stemmed the tide alongside Bedingham to steer the home side into the lunch break. Bedingham pressed the accelerator after the interval with a string of boundaries, including a pristine straight drive against Wright. Both players passed fifty within the space of an over as Dickson notched his first half-century of the campaign before Bedingham followed, cutting Barnes to the fence.
The visitors struggled throughout the afternoon to make a breakthrough, while matters were made tougher after losing Wright to injury in the middle of his 10th over. Bedingham kept the pressure on the Leicestershire attack, dispatching Davis for two sixes, the second of which found the second row of boxes of the Don Robson Pavilion. The right-hander brought up a deserved century with another sublime drive down the ground, passing the milestone for the first time of the campaign in 144 balls.
Dickson faced a nervous wait after reaching 99 before tea, but he got over the line in the first ball after the break to secure his first first-class ton since July 2019. Barnes finally ended a brilliant 231-run partnership between Dickson and Bedingham, pinning the former lbw for 120 with a sharp inswinger. Despite the loss of Dickson, Ned Eckersley and Liam Trevaskis, Bedingham pressed on to his 150 with a sumptuous cut to the fence, piling on the agony for his compatriot Beuran Hendricks and his team-mates.