The 26-year-old right-hander, no stranger to these parts after three seasons with village side Plumtree in the Nottinghamshire Premier League, surpassed his previous best of 147 for Boland against Easterns in 2018 to help Durham recover from 22 for three to build a 395 lead with one day remaining. Bedingham’s fifth-wicket partnership with Ned Eckersley, who finished unbeaten on 113, has added 254, a Durham record for the fifth wicket against any opposition.
It means that Nottinghamshire, whose bowling attack was weakened by the absence of the injured Jake Ball, will - barring something extraordinary - see their woeful run of results in first-class cricket stretch to 28 matches without a win, going back to June 2018.
Bedingham’s performance eclipsed the unbeaten 96 by Nottinghamshire wicketkeeper Tom Moores as the innings of the day, much as the latter had its merits as the home side, once 66 for five, recovered to 267 all out in their first innings.
Moores shared an 89-run stand for the eighth wicket with Brett Hutton, who himself made a 71-ball half-century, before scoring 33 of the 37 runs added for the last two Nottinghamshire wickets. He had taken successive boundaries off Matt Salisbury to be only one shot away from his third career hundred when final partner Jake Ball was out, so he could consider himself unlucky, although he had been dropped on eight and 79.
Ball’s sore back kept him off the field as Durham began their second innings just before lunch but Nottinghamshire’s attack seemed hardly to miss him as Luke Fletcher struck with his second ball to have Alex Lees leg before without scoring and Hutton then dismissed Scott Borthwick, caught at second slip, to leave the visitors five for two for the second time in the match as skipper Borthwick reflected on scores of nought and one in the first match of his return to the county.
Mike Jones fell shortly afterwards but Bedingham looked as sure-footed as he had in the first innings and, after a partnership of 56 with Jack Burnham had drawn Nottinghamshire’s sting, he completed his second half-century of the match when he drove Fletcher handsomely for his seventh boundary.
Hitting the ball cleanly and fluently throughout, his century came with his 12th boundary, crashed through the offside again off Fletcher, and his final tally from 228 balls faced comprised 15 fours and three sixes, one of which disappeared into the upper levels of the Radcliffe Road stand. Eckersley’s hundred, the 16th of his career, came off 123 balls with 11 fours.
Moores said: “We showed a bit of fight this morning to get nearer to their score and we got three early wickets when they batted again and we felt right in the game at that point.
“But credit to Ned (Eckersley) and Bedingham for the way they got stuck in. As the ball got older it didn’t do as much and it got harder for us. It was a tough shift, especially with a bowler down, but they played very well.
“But I think our batting is more than capable of digging in. We will just try to take the game as deep into the day as we can and come away with the best result we can.”