Durham face nailbiting chase

Lancashire 84 & 282 Durham 186 & 27-3

Durham may have looked as fallible as Lancashire as both sides were bowled out on the opening day here, but no one in the visitors' dressing room will be too worried if they leave here today celebrating a sixth victory of the season.

Given what happened on the opening day, when the ball swung prodigiously and 20 wickets fell, seeing it through might not be straightforward, particularly after a torrid 10 overs last night had them wobbling at 24 for 3.

Lancashire have a 100 per cent record in three matches here this season. It will take probably one decent partnership to swing the balance in Durham's favour but a target of 181 still looks challenging.

With a game in hand, defeat would not be catastrophic for the home side, but a win for Durham would stretch their lead over Lancashire at the top of the First Division to 23 points – hardly enough to ensure a third title in four years but one that might make them favourites, with Warwickshire 54 points behind in third.

Yesterday Peter Moores, Lancashire's former England coach, had a ready response to those who had questioned the quality of this year's championship in the light of an opening day here that was bizarrely reminiscent of a club game, with one batsman after another easily undone by accurate swing bowling.

"To say that would be grossly unfair," he said. "It was strange to see 20 wickets fall in one day because some of the cricket played this season has been of very high quality. Look at the way Durham batted against Yorkshire, for example, scoring 400-odd in 70-odd overs. They have been solid all season, as we have."

Indeed, Durham can boast 15 first-class hundreds this season, shared among eight players. They probably have the strongest hand of bowlers, too, and were impressive in the way they stuck to their guns yesterday after Lancashire, in stark contrast to day one, went through the first session for the loss of only one wicket, somewhat given away with a loose stroke by Stephen Moore.

The rest of the day was altogether more productive for them. Four wickets in the afternoon session followed, including a couple for Steve Harmison after some familiar radar problems, with another five after tea. Graham Onions, with a couple of inside edges to get rid of Gareth Cross and Saj Mahmood, finished with four for 74.

Junaid Khan smashed the leg-spinner Scott Borthwick over the top for six but the real thorn in Durham's side was Luke Procter, who hit eight fours in what might be a crucial second Championship half-century if Durham falter.

Kyle Hogg cranked up the pressure on them by getting Michael di Venuto and Gordon Muchall leg-before, with nightwatchman Onions then falling to a fine catch at gully from Saj Mahmood's first ball. A gripping third day awaits.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Sport
Bradford City's reward for their memorable win over Chelsea is a trip to face either Sunderland or Fulham (Getty)
football
News
Lars Andersen took up archery in his mid thirties
video
Voices
Focus E15 Mothers led a protest to highlight the lack of affordable housing in London
voicesLondon’s housing crisis amounts to an abuse of human rights, says Grace Dent
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

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea