London: Virender Sehwag’s typically rapid century ensured county champions Durham suffered a six-wicket defeat in their English season curtain-raiser against MCC in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
The former India opener made 109 off 97 balls, including a six and 18 fours, as MCC chased down a victory target of 224 in 51 overs.
England exile Samit Patel contributed a handy 48 as MCC eased to victory.
MCC resumed on Wednesday’s fourth and final day on 48 for two, with Sehwag nine not out.
Daniel Bell-Drummond helped Sehwag take the score to 106 before the Kent batsman was caught and bowled by Scott Borthwick, who took two for 77.
However, the England leg-spinner was one of several bowlers who suffered at Sehwag’s hands before the dashing right-hander was caught off Jamie Harrison, who returned figures of two wickets for 69 runs.
North-east side Durham begin the defence of their First Division title away to promoted Midlands club Northamptonshire on April 13.
Traditionally, MCC played the champion county at their Lord’s headquarters in north-west London but, since 2010, the fixture has been staged in Abu Dhabi.