Ben Stokes century against Lancashire
Durham will need to prevent Lancashire from scoring another 144 runs on the final day of their Championship clash after the hosts rallied to 56-1 at the close on the third day.
The Durham openers put on an opening stand of 53 before Will Smith (22) was trapped lbw by Ajmal Shazhad.
Luke Procter and Glenn Chapple had Mark Stoneman (28) and Gordon Muchall (7) caught in their efforts to build the total.
Durham were 34-4 after losing Dale Benkenstein (2) immediately before the lunch break after he was caught by Ashwell Prince off Chapple.
A diligent 132 run partnership between Ben Stokes and Paul Collingwood served the Durham cause well, with the latter scoring fifty before was trapped lbw by Kyle Hogg.
Skipper Phil Mustard (3) dismissed after the tea break bringing Scott Borthwick to the crease to join Stokes, who was jubilant as he scored his century, which came off 148 deliveries and included 13 boundaries.
Procter claimed two further wickets in Borthwick (5), who was caught by Prince, and Onions (5), who he bowled, leaving Durham 254-8.
Some big hitting and a couple of missed opportunities by Lancashire saw Stokes reach 121 before he was eventually caught on the ropes by Kyle Hogg off the bowling of Simon Kerrigan.
Kerrigan claimed the last wicket, trapping Stephen Harmison lbw with the total at 267, setting Lancashire a target of 200 to steal the win.
Durham’s defence of their total couldn’t have started better with Graham Onions trapping Paul Horton lbw with his first delivery.
By the close Lancashire were 56-1, trailing Durham by 144 with a full day remaining.
At the end of the day Durhamccc.co.uk spoke to Paul Collingwood, “We needed an important partnership today and we had a little bit of luck along the way. Stokesy played fantastically well and we managed to give ourselves a decent lead and a chance in the game.
“On a wicket like this, wickets tend to come in clusters, and a 140 runs on a wicket like this is a lot. If we can bowl with good intensity, there’s plenty in the pitch and we can create good pressure. It’s a big day for us tomorrow but I thought we fought back well today to get ourselves in a good position.
“I was relieved to get fifty, I want contribute to the team, do well and get us into winning positions. I’ve got as big a job as anyone else in the dressing room and it was good today that I was able to do it.
“I thought Ben was fantastic today, he showed a lot of maturity choosing which shots to play and he’s got a lot of power as well, I really thought he had a good rhythm to his innings and it was unfortunate he got out at the end. He’s played a great role in today’s performance, the team needed it and it’s given us a boost”.