Rachin Ravindra scored his maiden first-class double hundred, notching 217 before he was finally dismissed for the second-highest score made by a Durham debutant. Paul Coughlin and Ben Raine also became centurions for the first time, sharing a record-breaking stand for Durham’s eighth wicket worth 213 to leave their side in a dominant position.
Raine got the better of the visitors once more this time with the ball, claiming the wickets of Jake Libby and Azhar Ali to reduce Worcestershire to 140 for three at stumps, trailing Durham by 502 runs ahead of day three.
Resuming on 178 not out, Ravindra wasted no time in pushing his score towards 200 with three early boundaries. The left-hander slipped through the gears and reached his double-century with a gentle nudge into the leg-side before saluting his new team-mates, becoming only the third Durham player to score over 200 on their debut. Jonathan Bushnell failed to kick on from his overnight score of 61, adding only five further runs before Dillon Pennington prised him out.
Ben Gibbon was given rough ride by Ravindra after being dispatched for back-to-back boundaries down the ground, but he earned a semblance of revenge by removing the New Zealander, who was out in a tame manner caught behind from a leg glance for 217.
The Worcestershire left-armer.completed a double-wicket maiden by sending Liam Trevaskis on his way before Ned Eckersley continued the procession, losing three wickets for four runs. Durham’s wobble threatened to prevent them from capitalising on a flat wicket.
However, Raine and Coughlin allowed the hosts to regain their stranglehold of the contest, taking a defeat out of the question, with a record-breaking stand for the eighth wicket. Raine was first to pass fifty from 72 balls before Coughlin soon caught up with a flurry of boundaries, including two maximums over cow corner, for his first half-century of the campaign.
The milestones kept coming for the hosts as Coughlin and Raine surpassed the 200-run mark for the eighth wicket before both men became first-class centurions for the first time. Coughlin had a straightforward path to three figures, nurdling a single into the leg-side to reach his ton from 117 balls. Raine followed in the same over, although his heart would have been in his mouth as his sweep off Libby just had enough elevation to beat mid-on to reach his maiden hundred.
Durham declared on their third-highest first-class total and the pressure was on the visitors from the off as Chris Rushworth removed debutant Taylor Cornall from his second delivery with one that kept low. Libby survived an outside edge that travelled between the slips to deny Rushworth a second wicket, and the opener worked with Ali to see off the new ball with a partnership of 58.
Raine continued his impressive day to break the stand as Libby edged to Scott Borthwick at second slip. Ali and Jack Haynes settled in on a flat wicket with another solid partnership worth 69 to edge the visitors towards the close, but Raine again was the man for the hosts as he returned after a stoppage for bad light and dismissed Ali for 45, inside edging onto his own stumps, to leave Durham in command.