County Championship round-up: Jos Buttler’s batting heroics for Lancashire in vain


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The Independent Online

A century from Jos Buttler at Chester-le-Street was not enough as Durham edged a tight match against Lancashire in a tense finish.

Lancashire required 340 for victory in the County Championship Division One tussle, after bowling out the home side for 267. At 74 for 4, it seemed a tall order, but Steven Croft, who made 72, and Buttler gave credibility to Lancashire’s pursuit.

Buttler, not picked for England, ploughed on to reach exactly 100 not out – his first championship century since his move from Somerset – but last man Simon Kerrigan’s dismissal settled the contest as Lancashire were all out for 312 and Durham won by 27 runs.

For Northamptonshire, there was the crushing inevitability of another defeat in their miserable championship season, folding by an innings and 105 runs against Warwickshire at the County Ground.

Warwickshire had declared on Tuesday on 602, leading by 290. Northants duly crumbled to 185 all out, James Middlebrook’s 50 and Matthew Spriegel’s 42 providing the only resistance.

Displaced England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow batted through the third day at Arundel to score his first Championship hundred since April 2011 and put Yorkshire in a position to force victory against Sussex. When Yorkshire declared on 471 for seven with 10 overs of the day remaining Bairstow had compiled a chanceless 161 with his side 154 runs in front.

In Division Two, Worcestershire beat winless Leicestershire by 234 runs, off-spinner Saeed Ajmal taking the side’s final six wickets for 19.