Atherton leads victory charge

County Championship: Career-best figures for Keedy set up Lancashire win to keep them in touch at top

As the First Division of the County Championship resolves itself into a three-cornered battle between Surrey, Yorkshire and Lancashire, much will depend on the ruthlessness with which the contenders despatch the lesser lights.

As the First Division of the County Championship resolves itself into a three-cornered battle between Surrey, Yorkshire and Lancashire, much will depend on the ruthlessness with which the contenders despatch the lesser lights.

Despite best-ever bowling figures from Gary Keedy, who must now be close to his county cap, Lancashire allowed Durham to dangle long enough on the hook before finishing them off to raise some doubts about their capabilities in that department.

Having broken the back of Durham's second innings the previous afternoon, Keedy and Gary Yates, already with three wickets apiece, found it surprisingly hard work to wrap up the tail.

Even with the help of Chris Schofield - central contract or no central contract, very much the third Lancashire spinner in the pecking order in this game - they were kept at bay for an hour and three-quarters by the Durham captain, and former Lancashire batsman, Nick Speak, and the first of their bowlers, John Wood. Worse than that, the two found it relatively easy to compile runs.

An over from Yates in which each batsman in turn used his feet to drive for four was not quite typical, but it showed that neither the bowling nor the slow, turning pitch held many terrors for them, despite the previous evening's collapse.

Warren Hegg, not quite his unobtrusive immaculate self behind the stumps this season according to some at Old Trafford, missed a routine leg-side stumping of Wood from the bowling of Schofield. It looked potentially expensive, butLancashire got the stroke of luck they needed when the Yorkshire-born seamer was caught on the square-leg boundary for 44 after picking out Neil Fairbrother as he attacked Keedy.

Speak was almost run out by a quick piece of work from John Crawley, but Durham survived to lunch otherwise unscathed and with the prospect of saving the match still alive.

Keedy claimed his fifth wicket of the innings when Nick Phillips lobbed one to Yates in the covers, and when Neil Killeen - capable, as he showed in the first innings, of sticking around to good effect - was lbw to Yates without scoring, the end of Durham's resistance was in sight.

Nevertheless, by the time Simon Brown was last man out, caught off bat and pad by Michael Atherton to give Keedy career-best figures of 6 for 56, Durham had held up Lancashire through 72 overs of unbroken spin, Speak remaining unbeaten against his old county with an obdurate 38.

That left Lancashire requiring 132 from a minimum of 41 overs. Jon Lewis put Crawley down off Wood before Lancashire had scored, but Atherton looked far more assured, especially when glor-iously cover-driving Brown.

After 10 overs Durham too turned to spin, employing the occasional off-breaks of Michael Gough, who had taken four wickets in the first innings, and the more practised arm of Phillips. Crawley holed out off Phillips, but with Fairbrother picking off the bad ball, Lancashire were well on their way by tea.

Fairbrother fell to Phillips straight after the interval, but Atherton was severe on Gough, showing that it does not matter how extravagant the spin offered by a wicket if the ball is over-pitched.

Sourav Ganguly went cheaply, but Atherton moved resplendently to his 50. Durham signalled the beginning of the end by summoning up the obscure Chinamen of Simon Katich and Lancashire got home with more than an hour to spare, helped by a rapid 32 from Graham Lloyd.

That sets up what might be termed a 40-pointer at Headingley, starting on Friday, How much turn, the Old Trafford cynics are wondering, will there be in that pitch?

Arts and Entertainment
Sheeran arrives at the 56th annual Grammy Awards earlier this year
musicYes, that would be Ed Sheeran, according to the BBC
Sport
Rio Ferdinand, Alan Shearer, Alan Hansen and Gary Lineker during Hansen's final broadcast
Sport
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Arts and Entertainment
'Deep Breath' is Peter Capaldi's first full-length adventure as the twelfth Doctor
TVFirst episode of new series has ended up on the internet
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Life and Style
Once a month, waistline watcher Suran steps into a 3D body scanner that maps his body shape and records measurements with pinpoint accuracy
techFrom heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?