IAN BLACKWELL and Scott Borthwick both took three wickets as county champions Durham closed in on victory after day three of their floodlit county season opener with an MCC XI in Abu Dhabi.
Durham declared their second innings on 228-6 thanks to an unbeaten stand of 125 between Callum Thorp (79no) and Kyle Coetzer (52no).
This gave them a lead of 525 to protect and they went for the jugular of the MCC line-up, who were reduced to 156-7.
Slow left-armer Blackwell (3-39) and teenage leg-spinner Borthwick (3-57) starred using the trialled pink ball, which took full advantage on a dry surface at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Tim Murtagh (27no) and Jon Lewis (32no) will today be looking to frustrate the exhibition side by building on their unbeaten stand of 59.