Duck for Fred as Lancs routed

Durham 244 & 145 Lancashire 116 & 135 (Durham win by 138 runs)

Already resigned to losing Graham Onions when England name their first Ashes Test line-up in a little under three weeks' time, Durham may be secretly keeping their fingers crossed that the national selectors remain unconvinced about Steve Harmison, even though one of their number saw the fast-bowling enigma take five Lancashire wickets here yesterday.

Harmison finished with five for 46 as Lancashire, chasing 274, were dismissed for 135 in their second innings. The three-day defeat did not so much ask questions about their prospects in the Championship, as highlight Durham's. Two emphatic victories in a row have put the title holders back on top of Division One, although Nottinghamshire will be in front again if they beat Hampshire at the Rose Bowl today.

James Whitaker, the England selector who was present here, is unlikely to have gone away with an unqualified endorsement of Harmison's well-being. What he saw was frustratingly familiar, a combination of balls that could safely be ignored and others that were practically unplayable.

Those batsmen singled out for the latter were particularly unlucky, as the Lancashire opener Mal Loye clearly felt when, having batted for an hour and a half, he suddenly found the ball zeroing in on his chin and could do nothing but divert it off the bat handle to third slip. He swiped at the turf angrily as he trudged off.

Paul Horton had been seen off by a similar delivery. South Africa's Ashwell Prince – in his last match for Lancashire – went lbw before François du Plessis edged another difficult ball to Phil Mustard behind the stumps. Glen Chapple became victim number five, nicking a drive to first slip to give Harmison nine in the match, but whether it is enough to hasten a Test recall remains to be seen.

Indeed, there were several performances to challenge his right to be considered even the bowler of this match. Taking advantage of a pitch notable for steep bounce – ideal for the tall pacemen leading both attacks – Onions shone again, his seven-wicket match haul giving him 41 for the season in first-class matches alone.

Then there was Saj Mahmood, in Test exile since January 2007, who returned a career-best six for 30 as Durham's second innings subsided to 145, supplementing his dismissal of the top three on Friday by taking three of the remaining four wickets yesterday, including a brilliant return catch to end Ian Blackwell's defiant 74.

Andrew Flintoff's five-ball duck (to go with a first-innings three) suggested his batting needs some work but his bowling on his comeback after knee surgery was more than encouraging. A brilliant diving catch by Du Plessis gave him Harmison's wicket for the second time in two days yesterday, and six for the match.

"As far as building towards the Ashes is concerned, Andrew is in a very good place," said the Lancashire coach, Peter Moores.

Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Life and Style
Mark's crab tarts are just the right size
food + drinkMark Hix cooks up some snacks that pack a punch
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect