Strike force add to shame

Lancs 264 and 441-8 dec Durham 181 and 179 Lancashire won by 345 runs
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The Independent Online
Lancashire set Durham an uphill 525 to win in nearly two full days and they never got close. In fact, Durham did not last two full sessions. The newest county in the Championship have never scored 400 in a final innings here and last year, when they were twice set 500-plus targets, their best attempt fell 286 runs short. Their descent to a 345-run defeat yesterday was precipitous even by their standards.

The fall began when Glen Chapple reduced them to nought for two wickets in the second over. Mike Roseberry, the Durham captain, clung to his crease for almost as long as it had taken him to face four balls before the umpire Chris Balderstone confirmed Chapple's suspicions that Roseberry had taken a faint edge. The next ball, Chapple had John Morris trapped leg before.

Sherwin Campbell and Phil Bainbridge temporarily stemmed the tide. They battled bravely to put on 90 in the face of fearsome bowling from Peter Martin, Chapple and Steve Elworthy. Campbell took two raps on the knuckles from Martin, and Bainbridge had his ribs tickled and his arm peppered by Elworthy.

The unusually high bounce again raised questions about this new pitch - it was reported automatically on the first day when 18 wickets fell, although the umpires were content. However, it was superb control and movement from Chapple and Elworthy that really caused Dur-ham's discomfort. Indeed, in 25 hectic minutes at the start of play, Chapple and Elworthy, as batsmen, had shown how easy runs were to come by. They plundered 46 off seven overs before Mike Watkinson decided Durham had enough of a mountain to climb.

Campbell and Bainbridge, though, were never really at home. Both offered chances and Campbell looked vulnerable outside off-stump. Once they had been dismissed - Bainbridge to a fine catch by Michael Atherton two balls after reaching his fifty - Watkinson realised his strike bowlers were far too good for Durham's lower-order batsmen to get anywhere near.

On came Ian Austin. Within four overs, his less demanding pace had enticed three slip catches. Lancashire clustered for the kill and the last man, Steve Lugsden, obligingly left his stumps open. It was Lancashire's first Championship win of the season and continued Durham's slide.