Lunch Report: Lancashire 143 & 290 v Durham 114 & 90 (34.4 overs) Lancashire win by 232 runs.
Lunch on the third day (Lancashire won toss)
Friday 09 May 2008
Lancashire needed less than a session to wrap things up here after Durham, 295 behind when they resumed at three wickets down, were bowled out in 22.4 overs this morning.
After 20 wickets fell in the first day there was never much chance of this contest going to the full four days. In the event, it was completed with 20 minutes still remaining of the third morning.
For once, Andrew Flintoff is not the story. The England all-rounder, who will expect to know tomorrow evening if he has done enough to earn a recall for next week's first Test against New Zealand, bowled five overs without adding to last night's three wickets - and then had the watching media twitching by spending half an hour off the field.
You wondered if he was having a little fun at our expense when a powerful pair of binoculars picked him out behind the dressing room glass, quietly reading the paper. But he remerged apparently in sound health.
He left it to his England colleague James Anderson to do the hard work, the in-form pace bowler bowling unchanged at the Stretford End to take five wickets for 25 on the day, giving him figures of 5-46 for the innings and 9-77 for the match.
There should be no doubt about his selection to face the Kiwis, whose visit to Old Trafford for the second Test on 23 May was the cause of today's noisy accompaniment. The rickety sightscreen at the Statham End has been quietened - only for a morning of clangs and bangs as work begins on the temporary Test match stand in front of the indoor school.
Durham's collapse to 90 all out was a pretty miserable response to their overnight position, although with Lancashire in such a strong position, the collective will among the visitors to pursue an unlikely draw was probably not as strong as it might have been.
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