Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer
Benkie eyes county record
Cape Town - Dale Benkenstein's golden run in County Championship cricket continues - and he is even in with a stab at breaking the Durham record for most first-class runs in a season.
The 37-year-old former Proteas and Dolphins middle-order batsman recently went over the 1 000-mark in 2011, as the English summer reaches roughly its halfway stage.
Benkenstein has scored 1 003 Championship runs thus far at an average of 83.58, leaving him second behind former England opener Marcus Trescothick (1 102 runs at 78.71) for total runs scored and second also on the Division One averages behind Durham teammate Phil Mustard, who has benefited from a few "not outs" down the order during his 442 runs at 88.40.
Thanks in no small part to Benkenstein's consistency at the crease, Durham presently top the four-day table with 169 points from 10 matches, 23 ahead of second-placed Lancashire, who have a game in hand.
The Zimbabwean-born campaigner has a chance of seriously challenging Australian Michael Di Venuto's Durham record of 1 654 runs in a single season (2009).
As it is Benkenstein commands third place in the county's batting annals anyway, courtesy of his 1 500 runs exactly in 2006; second position is occupied by Wayne Larkins (1,536 Durham runs in 1992), a former English rebel tourist in South Africa.
Championship fixtures resume this weekend in England after a break during Twenty20 activity.