Durham v Lancashire - Match Report

Durham v Lancashire - Match Report

Durham v Lancashire - Match Report

Chris Rushworth took 4-45 to help Durham to victory

STUMPS, DAY FOUR. Durham 338 & 267 v Lancashire 266 & 312 all out (Buttler 100*, Croft 72). Durham beat Lancashire by 27 runs.

Points - Durham 22, Lancashire 5.

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On a nerve-shredding final day, reigning champions Durham secured a first victory of the 2014 LV=County Championship season.

A thrilling 27 run win over Lancashire, accomplished despite a wonderful unbeaten century from Jos Buttler, finally arrived after six draws and a defeat in the opening seven games.

The result moves Durham up to sixth in the table, and ensures they leap-frog Lancashire in the process.

Needing a record breaking 340 to win, the visitors fought hard on a beautiful sunny day until Chris Rushworth (4-45) trapped last man Simon Kerrigan LBW to spark wild celebrations.

Last season, Yorkshire had successfully chased 339, which was the highest successful fourth innings run chase by any team at Chester-le-Street.

Their near neighbours nearly emulated that feat, but fell agonisingly short.

The way the day started, not many would have predicted such a tense finish.

After scoring 86 on his Lancashire debut on Monday, the wicket of Usman Khawaja was a big one and the metronomic Rushworth dismissed the Australian left-hander with his tenth ball of the morning.

Khawaja was out-foxed by a delivery that seamed away and caught the outside edge, with Phil Mustard gleefully taking the catch.

With the sun shining, conditions were arguably favouring the batsmen, but when Paul Coughlin was introduced from the Finchale End, Durham secured another breakthrough.

Former South Africa International Ashwell Prince looked far from pleased, but the 37 year old had to troop off after he was adjudged to have gloved a delivery down the leg side to Mustard.

At 74-4 and still 266 runs from victory, the newly promoted red rose county looked in trouble, but a stand of 129 re-ignited their hopes of a record-breaking win.

Buttler, shrugging off any inhibitions he had in the first innings, batted superbly and attacked with venom. The England International tucked into a number of Scott Borthwick deliveries as he smashed a short ball down the ground for a huge six before striking the next ball through the covers for four more.

Batting partner Croft was also starting to move through the gears and he brought up his half-century by using his feet to punch away a low full toss from Borthwick.

With both batsmen well set at lunch, Lancashire required 175 to win and the hosts were in need of an inspirational team talk.

Shortly after the break, Buttler joined Croft in acknowledging his half-century, which was recorded from just 51 deliveries. The Lancashire batsmen weren't just chipping away at their target at this point, but rather hacking into it, leaving the bowlers desperately looking for inspiration as the sun continued to shine.

Switching the mode of attack, Paul Collingwood changed the field and asked his seamers to test the Lancashire pair with some short deliveries. Croft took the bait, and he couldn't control a pull shot that sailed high into the air. Gordon Muchall had to back peddle at deep square leg but clung on to an important catch, which gave Stokes a first wicket.

The big-hitting Tom Smith, who is having a fine season in all formats of the game, joined Buttler and struck a couple of meaty blows to keep the game on a knife edge. John Hastings bowled a delivery that squared the left hander up though, and an edge carried to Borthwick at gully.

As tensions rose, the fluent strokes of the last few hours suddenly started to evaporate as Glen Chapple scratched around for 14 before he wafted at a cut shot and was caught behind.

Kyle Hogg got off the mark with a single but was then bowled by a beauty from Hastings, as the ball darted off the seam and clipped off-stump.

Lancashire continued to battle and a top edge from Kabir Ali sailed over the ropes for six, leaving Stokes looking frustrated. Ali, who has seven first class fifties in his career, hit two further boundaries before he reached forward to a delivery from Hastings. The ball popped up after a combination of bat and pad, with Jennings taking a fairly simple chance at short leg.

The second new ball was taken and Buttler immediately reached a deserved century, but then two balls later he was left stranded as Kerrigan was struck on the pad by Rushworth.

The mixture of joy and relief from Collingwood and his troops was clear for all to see.

STUMPS, DAY THREE. Durham 338 & 267 (Borthwick 92, Smith 5-42) v Lancashire 266 & 41-2. Lancashire require 299 runs to win with 8 second innings wickets remaining.

Points - Durham 6, Lancashire 5

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Durham need to take eight Lancashire wickets in order to register a first win of the season after an absorbing third day's play at Emirates Durham ICG.

A half-century from Scott Borthwick (92), along with contributions from Paul Collingwood (47) and John Hastings (40), lifted the hosts up to a total of 267.

The visitors' victory target of 340 owed much to Tom Smith, as the tall Lancashire seamer picked up two double wicket maidens to prevent Durham from running away with the contest.

Chris Rushworth then struck in the first over of Lancashire's second innings to dismiss Paul Horton and removed Alex Davies just before the close to give Durham's victory charge a further boost.

Earlier in the day, Mark Stoneman and Keaton Jennings both reached double figures but departed in similar fashion as they were caught in the slips. An instinctive one-handed effort from Horton to get rid of Stoneman seemed to leave the Durham opener in a state of mild shock, with the Lancashire fielders understandably jubilant.

After Smith had dismissed Michael Richardson and Ben Stokes to leave the score at 62-4, Borthwick and Collingwood were forced to rebuild the innings. Whilst other batsmen have struggled on this wicket, Borthwick looked in fantastic form as he played a number of eye-catching shots, particularly against the bowling of Kabir Ali.

A back foot punch that raced behind point to the boundary was particularly impressive, as the expensive Ali continued to leak runs.

The Sunderland born left hander eased to his third half-century of the campaign with a dab for two down to third man and later pulled fellow spinner Simon Kerrigan away for a big six towards the Don Robson Pavilion.

Looking completely at ease, Borthwick continued to accelerate but perished just eight runs short of three figures. He used his feet to try and hit Kerrigan down the ground but miscued the shot and the ball looped towards the deep mid-wicket boundary. Smith ran to his right and took the catch and Borthwick disconsolately walked off to a warm reception from the home faithful.

Smith, in the midst of a long spell either side of the tea interval, sent Gordon Muchall and Phil Mustard back to the dressing room within the space of five balls and a lead of 300 suddenly looked in doubt.

Renowned for his resilience, Collingwood showed his gritty nature once again as he negotiated his side to the break but then edged to second slip shortly after play resumed.

A late flurry from Hastings, who took on the short ball from Smith and then slapped Kerrigan sweetly down the ground a few times, nudged Durham beyond 250. First innings hero Paul Coughlin also chipped in with two boundaries before he became the last wicket to fall, giving Hogg a ninth wicket in the match.

Rushworth bowled a testing opening over as he beat Horton's bat twice before wrapping him on the pad and George Sharp raised his finger to give last season's champions an early breakthrough.

Whilst Rushworth was economical, a flurry of no-balls meant Hastings was proving expensive. Davies and the dangerous Khawaja survived a couple of near-misses before the ever-reliable Rushworth hit Davies flush on the pad to pick up a deserved second wicket.

The ball seamed and spun quite considerably during day three, and the home attack will hope for similar movement on the final day, as they seek a first victory of the campaign.

STUMPS, DAY TWO. Durham 338 all out (Coughlin 85, Mustard 70) & 16-0 v Lancashire 266 all out (Khawaja 86). Durham lead by 88 runs with 10 second innings wickets remaining.

Points - Durham 6, Lancashire 5.

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Championship debutant Paul Coughlin starred with both bat and ball as Durham took charge on day two against Lancashire.

Resuming on 71, Coughlin was eventually dismissed for 85, which is the highest score by a Durham number 10 in the club's first class history.

The Sunderland born all-rounder then claimed three wickets, including the prized scalps of Usman Khawaja and Ashwell Prince.  The experienced international pair had put on 109 as Lancashire threatened to take control before Coughlin (3-42) struck during a fine spell from the Finchale End.

Khawaja, also making his LV=County Championship bow, top-scored with an excellent 86 before he was caught at gully by Michael Richardson.

The visitors appeared to be coasting on 205-2, but Khawaja's dismissal sparked a collapse as Lancashire lost eight wickets for 61 runs either side of tea.

Ben Stokes (3-97) and John Hastings (3-45) also picked up three wickets to help Durham establish a lead of 72 after earlier posting 338 all out.

Although missing out on a fourth batting bonus point, Durham's first innings total was a remarkable return given their perilous position at 184-8. Coughlin and Phil Mustard's partnership was the highest ninth wicket stand in the club's history, although a ball after bringing up the 150, Coughlin was bowled by Tom Smith.

In an effort to score quickly, Phil Mustard then danced down the wicket and tried to swipe the ball away to the leg side but could only edge through to Jos Buttler.

Lancashire began their first innings without too many alarms until Paul Horton tried to whip a ball from Chris Rushworth through the on side. The ball struck the opener on the pad and much to his disgruntlement, he was given out.

19 year old Alex Davies survived a chance shortly after as he drove at a good delivery from John Hastings but Paul Collingwood dropped the ball as he dived to his left at first slip.

Davies had been joined by new overseas signing Khawaja, and the pair took their side towards 100 at lunch.  Shortly after play resumed though, Ben Stokes accounted for Davies when the youngster again tried a drive and this time Richardson clung on at gully.

Despite the wicket, Stokes was proving expensive as the left handed duo of Khawaja and Prince tucked into a number of full deliveries with drives through the offside. The century partnership arrived from just 136 balls, and Durham looked to be losing their grip on proceedings.

Captain Collingwood turned to Coughlin, and the 21 year old's second spell turned the match back towards the hosts.

On the stroke of tea, the impressive Khawaja trudged off after a thick outside edge flew into the hands of Richardson, giving Durham some much needed impetus.

Coughlin struck again with the second delivery after the break as Steven Croft nicked the ball to first slip and Collingwood pouched a simple catch.

Bowling a nagging line and length, Coughlin was proving almost impossible to get away, and all three of his wickets were claimed during maiden overs. Prince became the third victim when he pushed forward to a delivery and was caught behind.

The flurry of wickets continued when Stokes returned with a far better spell and had Smith dismissed for 11. John Hastings was then rewarded for some miserly bowling when he bowled veteran skipper Glen Chapple.

Playing in a very conservative fashion, the normally attack-minded Jos Buttler stuttered to eight from 54 balls before he became Stokes' third victim, with Mustard taking another regulation catch.

In an effort to break the shackles, Kyle Hogg attempted a pull shot from a short pitched Hastings delivery but the ball hit the top edge of the blade. Coughlin, who is having a match to savour, watched the ball sail skywards before taking the catch at fine leg.

Hastings bagged his third wicket in similar fashion as Simon Kerrigan pulled another short ball and picked out Gordon Muchall on the square leg boundary.

Mark Stoneman and Keaton Jennings negotiated the four overs that remained in the day's play, although there was a major alarm following the first delivery. Stoneman tucked the ball into the leg side and after a mix-up, Jennings slipped and both batsmen ran towards the same end. The throw from Kerrigan was poor though and the batsmen were able to gather two overthrows.

STUMPS, DAY ONE. Durham 310-8 (Coughlin 71*, Mustard 64*, Stoneman 51) v Lancashire.  

Points - Durham 3, Lancashire 2.

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A late fight back from Phil Mustard and championship debutant Paul Coughlin helped Durham to recover after Lancashire had threatened to dominate on day one at Chester-le-Street.

Mark Stoneman scored a half-century during the morning, but Kyle Hogg's five wicket haul ensured that the visitors assumed a commanding position after tea.

Durham were reduced to 184-8, before an important ninth wicket partnership of 126 between an uncharacteristically circumspect Mustard (64*) and 21 year old Coughlin (71*) frustrated the red rose county.

The partnership was a record one too, as it was Durham's highest ninth wicket stand at Emirates Durham ICG.

Mustard's half-century was just his second of the season, but it was scored at a vital time and it was an innings of great restraint and maturity.

After a 91 against Northamptonshire back in April, the Durham keeper has endured a barren spell with the bat, but returned to form at just the right time.

Coughlin also deserves huge credit for scoring runs at a testing time against an experienced attack. The pair ran well between the wickets, maximising scoring opportunities to push the team up towards 300.

Durham had started the day brightly, despite losing the toss.

Weather conditions dictated that whoever won the toss was always likely to bowl, and visiting skipper Glen Chapple did just that.

Slate grey skies lingered overhead before the start of play and failed to shift throughout the day, which aided Lancashire's battery of pace bowlers.

However, it wasn't swing that accounted for many of the Durham batsmen, but instead it was seam movement and variable bounce.

Tom Smith's nagging line and length accounted for two of the three wickets to fall before lunch as the seamer found a small amount of sideways movement.

Smith had Scott Borthwick caught behind and bowled Stoneman with a full delivery after Hogg had brought Keaton Jennings's positive innings of 23 to a halt. Jennings was caught by Australian Usman Khawaja at gully after he looked to drive a ball through the covers.

Michael Richardson passed 500 runs for the campaign but perished as Hogg wrapped him on the pad.

Then after Paul Collingwood had been surprised by a delivery that leapt up and caught the shoulder of his bat, Ben Stokes was bowled by a ball that kept low from Kabir Ali.

The pitch required the batsmen to play with plenty of patience, and Gordon Muchall and Mustard dug in during the afternoon to ease any worries over a dramatic collapse.

The tea interval proved costly as Muchall flicked a full ball straight to midwicket without adding to the 35 he accumulated prior to the break.

Hogg picked up his fifth victim when John Hastings nibbled at a delivery and feathered an edge through to Jos Buttler without scoring.

A first batting point was looking in doubt, until Coughlin joined Mustard at the crease. The pair were grateful for a bit of luck at times, with Smith putting down a tough chance at slip after an edge from Coughlin, with the resulting three runs bringing up the 250.

The second new ball failed to provide a breakthrough as Mustard promptly brought up his fifty from 126 balls.

Coughlin then hit a Chapple over for seven to register his maiden half-century for Durham.

The Sunderland-born bowler flicked the ball for four through midwicket and prodded into the covers for a couple before getting up on his toes and diverting the ball into the leg side to claim the single he needed to bring up his fifty.

Lancashire's tiring attack couldn't prevent Coughlin and Mustard from bringing up the 300 before the close, to complete a remarkable turnaround.