Durham complete victory over Lancashire on final day
Lancashire fell 74 runs short of chasing 325 today as they suffered a first defeat of the season to Durham at Emirates Riverside.
The division’s early-season pacesetters made a flying start to their chase by plundering ten boundaries in the first five overs, with the score 46-1.
Day four had started with the threat of rain, forcing Paul Collingwood to declare their second innings overnight on 239-4.
But a positive start by Karl Brown in particular gave the hosts a scare as they searched for their first Specsavers County Championship win of the season after three draws.
Unfortunately for Lancashire, however, by lunch they had slipped to 105-5, losing three wickets for as many runs in 16 balls along the way, and they were later bowled out for 251 ins 67 overs to lose by 73 runs.
Liam Livingstone top-scored with 60 not out and shared in half-century stands for the sixth and ninth wickets with Alex Davies and Kyle Jarvis.
“From the moment we arrived at the ground, and there was a bit of weather around, everyone was very positive,” said Ashley Giles, Lancashire’s cricket director and head coach.
“We were clear that whatever they gave us we were going to have a crack at.
“We knew it would be difficult because the wicket has deteriorated over the four days, as you’d expect it. But the way we went about it was really positive.
“Whilst we’ve lost the game, which none of us ever like doing, there’s no need to be too down.
“It is a tough place to come and win and play. There’s certainly bits we can improve on in this match, but overall we have to dust ourselves down and go again.”
After the early loss of Haseeb Hameed, lbw to James Weighell, there was a six-ball spell which included five boundaries for Brown and Luke Procter.
Brown had made his way to 46 off 25 balls before he was also trapped lbw, but this time by Graham Onions as the score fell to 50-2 after seven overs.
Procter and Alviro Petersen shared 44 for the third wicket to take Lancashire to the verge of 100, but both fell in the space of 16 balls to Brydon Carse and Barry McCarthy.
Carse had Petersen caught at point with the penultimate ball of the 19th over before getting Procter caught at second slip with the second ball of the 21st.
And when Steven Croft was caught behind off McCarthy in the 22nd over, playing a similar cut shot to that of Petersen’s, Lancashire had fallen from 94-2 to 97-5.
Davies, who pulled McCarthy for two fours in three balls in the 34th over of the innings, and Livingstone accrued 43 runs in the seven overs immediately after lunch, bringing up the 50 partnership in the process.
Lancashire reached 151-5 in the 35th over, with the target now 174.
Davies fell shortly after when he edged Weighell behind for 39, leaving the score at 164-6 in the 40th over and ending a 67-run partnership with Livingstone.
Tom Bailey then fell in similar fashion to hand Carse his third wicket in the 47th - 181-7.
Scott Borthwick continued his good game by getting Neil Wagner caught at short-leg in the 50th over as the score fell to 188-8.
Livingstone hit Ryan Pringle’s off-spin for two successive sixes over mid-wicket in the penultimate over of the afternoon as they target dropped below 100.
A two the following ball brought up 50 off 91 balls, and Lancashire reached tea at 237-8 from 61 overs with 88 still required.
Livingstone, who now has three 50 plus scores in five innings, was given excellent support by Jarvis, with their 50 partnership coming up in the first over of the evening session.
However, their stand of 56 was broken by Weighell, who had Jarvis caught at short-leg by Keaton Jennings, who didn’t seem to know a great deal about it, for 28 as Lancashire fell to 244-9.
Onions ended the game by uprooting Simon Kerrigan’s off-stump, leaving Lancashire with a haul of six points.
Onions, Weighell and Carse all finished with three wickets apiece.
Giles added: “The toughest bit was when we lost three wickets between 90 and 97. That really hurt us. We knew we had the quality all the way down to chase, and particularly with the start we had - 50 odd off eight overs - the run-rate was never going to be a problem.
“I was impressed with how everyone went about it.
“(Across the whole four days), I think there’s bits where we went a little bit flat in the field. I’m not pointing fingers at anyone, but when a side gets on top of us, we have to keep coming back and maintain our intensity. I thought at times yesterday, we didn’t do that.
“I also thought we could have got a few more runs in the first innings. If we’re 50 runs closer, the whole nature of the game changes.”
Lancashire’s next Championship match is against Surrey at Emirates Old Trafford on Sunday.