Durham took advantage of some helpful bowling conditions to make the early running on the opening day of the LV= Championship match at the Riverside
Lancashire, reduced to 110-5 early in the afternoon session, could only add another 26 runs when the rain came at 3pm with only 48.2 overs of the day’s allocation bowled.
Debutant Shivnarine Chanderpaul top scored with a determined 30 off 77 balls, and will return to the crease if and when plays resumes on tomorrow’s second day with Luke Sutton for company on 14.
“He's a craftsman, that's his style,” said coach Peter Moores of Chanderpaul. “I think his style suits this sort of pitch because he plays late, and that's crucial to achieving success out there. He's got great control with his hands.
“Shiv’s played 15, 16, 17 years of international cricket, so he’s been around the block. But, on this pitch, he’s going to need all his talents.”
Openers Paul Horton and Stephen Moore shared 52 for the first wicket, but were two of the four wickets to fall in the morning session.
Phil Mustard’s decision to bowl first after winning the toss looks a good one at present, but the home dressing room will be well aware that Jimmy Anderson, Glen Chapple and Sajid Mahmood will have been licking their lips at the sight of swing, seam and extra bounce.
They all played a part in Lancashire’s downfall, with a 36 run partnership for the fifth wicket between Chanderpaul and Tom Smith the next best alliance after Horton’s and Moore’s opening gambit.
Moore pulled Liam Plunkett for an early six over long leg, but was the first wicket to go when he edged Mitch Claydon behind for 27 in the 16th over.
Mark Chilton followed for one, caught at third slip by Dale Benkenstein off the accurate Callum Thorp, in the 19th over.
That brought Chanderpaul, the West Indian left hander, to the crease. He got off the mark with a straight driven three off Claydon, but not before Horton had edged the former Yorkshire man to Michael Di Venuto at second slip for 29 to leave Lancs struggling at 59-3 three balls after Chilton departed.
Durham’s successful morning was topped off when Steven Croft was trapped lbw by Paul Collingwood eight balls before the lunch break.
Chanderpaul and fellow left hander Smith then shared their stand, the former surviving a dropped catch at slip from Di Venuto off the bowling of Collingwood on ten.
But Smith edged Thorp behind in the 41st over, departing for 23, to help the Australian to figures of 2-14 from 14.2 overs.
Moores added: “It's been a scrap all day. There's a bit in the pitch, there's no doubt about that.
“It's swung all day. In some ways it's a good toss to win, but there'll be something in the pitch all game.
“We know the pitch here, wickets have always tended to fall in little clumps. But I didn't think they used the new ball as well as they probably would have liked. I thought we played well. We need a couple of partnerships. If we get around the 250 mark, that'll be very competitive.
“I think this side is as strong (as we've named all season). It's got good depth in the batting, it's got two swing bowlers in Glen Chapple and Jimmy Anderson, a quick in Sajid Mahmood and a good solid seam bowler in Tom.”
Graham Hardcastle at the Riverside
Photo: PA Images
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd