Smethurst's hostile style skittles Durham

The curiosity that tells you what you need to know about Lancashire's victory over Durham is that three bowlers produced career-best performances. There was sharp movement off the seam from the start, and a warm sun drew sufficient moisture out of the straw-coloured wicket, so that the ball swung with increasing vigour as the game wore on.

The beneficiaries were not Stephen Harmison, Chris Schofield or Andy Flintoff, bowlers who have places in England's squad for the First Zimbabwe Test. The famous men on this occasion were Durham's Simon Brown, who wiped out the Lancashire tail in nine balls yesterday morning to achieve 7 for 51. Lancashire's Glen Chapple had taken 6 for 42 in Durham's first innings and in their second, Michael Smethurst, a 23-year-old from Oldham, ran through Durham's insecure batting order to finish with 7 for 50.

A match that lasted just under two-and-a-half days gave Lancashire 17 points to place them at the top of the First Division. Durham's young team were the victims of class in every department. Lancashire's bowlers kept the ball up; the close fielders held their catches; and two batsmen produced innings that were the effective margin of victory (Sourav Ganguly's 73 and Chris Schofield's 50 in the first innings).

Australia's Bob Simpson, Lancashire's shrewd signing as overseas coach, was able to take off early for a few days in Scotland, a reward for their best start for some years.

To lose 13 wickets for 98 runs in less than two sessions looks like something worse than carelessness. It might even be the pretext for a visit from the new pitch inspectorate, but there is not much Durham can do about the extravagant behaviour of the wicket at Chester-le-Street at this stage of the season.

The ground sits next to the River Wear and the water table is high. Mix that with three days of decent weather and the result is a combustible pitch which turns early-season games into a bit of a lottery. Even so, Lancashire wanted to set Durham 275 to win rather than the 234 they needed after Lancashire's small collapse to Brown.

Durham lost Jon Lewis early, but James Daley and Simon Katich, this summer's Australian import who is used to the hard, fast pitches at Perth, moved into the early 30s as if they intended to stay put. Then came Smethurst, who is skinny, 6ft 5in and fast enough, but the quality that distinguishes him is the belligerence with which he attacks the bat.

Daley and Katich were soon gone. In an over to Nick Speak, he was no-balled for a third bouncer. Two balls later, Speak edged a rearing ball to Graham Lloyd at square leg. Nick Peng took 10 off one of Smethurst's 15.3 overs before Michael Atherton took the first of two neat catches to remove him for 12. It was one of only four scores in double figures in Durham's forgettable innings.


Riverside (Third day of four):

Durham won toss

Lancashire - First Innings 263 (Ganguly 73, Schofield 50, Harmison 4-74)

Durham - First Innings 164 (Chapple 6-42)

Lancashire - Second Innings

Overnight 128-7 (Brown 4-50)

N H Fairbrother c Speight b Brown 41 G Chapple lbw b Brown 7 P J Martin c Sub b Brown 0 M P Smethurst not out 1 Extras (lb2 w2 nb2) 6 Total (58.2 overs) 134 Fall: 1-11, 2-16, 3-38, 4-38, 5-41, 6-80, 7-112, 8-131, 9-131. Bowling: S J E Brown 17.3-6-51-7, S J Harmison 14-3-23-0, M M Betts 21-6-47-2, N Killeen 1.5-0-6-0, P D Collingwood 4-2-5-1. Durham - Second Innings J J B Lewis lbw b Chapple 2 J A Daley lbw b Smethurst 15 S M Katich c Hegg b Smethurst 13 P D Collingwood lbw b Martin 8 *N J Speak c Lloyd b Smethurst 2 N Peng c Atherton b Smethurst 12 M P Speight c F'brother b S'hurst 18 M M Betts c Atherton b Smethurst 5 N Killeen b Smethurst 0 S J Harmison b Chapple 1 S J E Brown not out 0 Extras (lb6 nb10) 16 Total (42.3 overs) 92 Fall: 1-3, 2-31, 3-32, 4-46, 5-48, 6-74, 7-86, 8-91, 9-92.

Bowling: P J Martin 9-4-12-1, G Chapple 12-7-14-2, S C Ganguly 2-1-7-0, M P Smethurst 15.3-3-50-7, A Flintoff 4-1-3-0.

Umpires: J H Hampshire and J W Holder.

FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam