Seemingly destined for a battle for First Division survival only a week ago, Durham could instead become key players in the race for the Championship after consigning Lancashire to their first defeat of the season at Old Trafford.
Durham leap from eighth place to fourth by taking 20 points and while their chances of claiming a third successive title look slim they are in a strong position to influence who does finish on top. Their next three opponents are the three teams above them, beginning with Yorkshire at Chester-le-Street next week. They travel to Taunton on 24 August before hosting Nottinghamshire a week later.
Required to score a further 113 on the final day, Durham completed yesterday's six-wicket win – only their second in three months – half an hour after lunch after Michael di Venuto's 63 had set the stage for Dale Benkenstein to see them home with an unbeaten 41.
Glamorgan moved ahead of Sussex to lead the Second Division as Worcestershire, chasing an unlikely 417 from a minimum of 87 overs for victory at Colwyn Bay, were bowled out for 175, left-arm spinner Dean Cosker finishing with 4 for 27.
An 108-run partnership between the reserve wicketkeeper Ben Brown, who posted his maiden half-century, and captain Michael Yardy, who finished unbeaten on 100 – his first century of the season – steered Sussex to a draw with Surrey at Guildford.