Lancashire's pursuit of an LV= County Championship victory against Durham at the Riverside looks set to be foiled by the North East rain.
The hosts, reduced to 85-5 in reply to 344, would have been the only ones delighted that only 21 overs of play were possible on day three today.
Glen Chapple took two wickets and Jimmy Anderson and Tom Smith one apiece to wreck the hosts’ top order in response to Lancashire’s 344. But, with only one day left in the match, a draw is on the cards.
Durham advanced to 96-5 in the 34th over when play was abandoned at 6pm. No play was possible after 2.30pm.
Anderson, however, still feels Lancashire have a chance of claiming their fourth win of the season. He said: “If we bowl well in similar conditions – if it’s swinging around – there’s no reason why we can’t get the 15 wickets.”
Chapple had England man Paul Collingwood caught at second slip and bowled Ian Blackwell in a 14-over opening spell that cost him only 23 runs.
And Anderson, who struck with the last ball of day two, had Michael Di Venuto caught behind by Luke Sutton before lunch. Anderson’s opening spell totals 17 overs and counting, and he has figures of 2-56.
Both men, along with the accurate Tom Smith, took advantage of helpful conditions, more so through the air than off the pitch. He trapped Dale Benkenstein lbw for 21 just before the rain came to end proceedings for the day.
Durham still require 99 runs to avoid the follow on. Lancashire must give themselves the option of enforcing it if they are to have any chance of forcing a win.
“I thought that we bowled pretty well when we did get out on the field,” added Anderson. “We just have to hope that the weather stays away tomorrow.”
Day 2 Report I Day 1 Report
Graham Hardcastle at the Riverside
Photo: Simon Pendrigh
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd