Luke Sutton and Shivnarine Chanderpaul made the headlines as Lancashire dominated a rain affected day against Durham at the Riverside today.
Sutton scored his second century of the summer, a patient yet positive effort, while Chanderpaul fell eight runs short of a debut ton as the Red Rose recovered from yesterday’s position of strife at 110-5 to post a first innings total of 344.
Sutton finished unbeaten on 101 before Durham closed out day two on 27-1 after James Anderson removed Mark Stoneman with the last ball of the day.
“That was a really pleasing day,” said Sutton, who recently scored two hundreds in the second team during the break for Twenty20. “We’re in a good position. We started the day under pressure, but it was good to get a partnership going with Shiv and then Saj later on.”
A wet outfield prevented play from starting until 1.55pm, and Chanderpaul and Sutton were in no mood to relinquish their positions at the crease.
Chanderpaul, in trademark fashion, flicked and deflected his way to 50 off 114 balls before becoming more expansive as he eyed a debut ton with his side in a much more commanding position.
He had hit nine fours and faced 168 by the time he was walking back to the pavilion having edged Liam Plunkett behind to Phil Mustard to leave the score at 245-6 after 74 overs. He and Sutton had shared 135 inside 34 overs for the sixth wicket.
Of the partnership, Sutton commented: “I really enjoyed that. He’s a great of the game. To have a long partnership with him like that is an experience I won’t forget. It was everything I thought it would be. He’s a real fighter. Unusual in his technique, but a fantastic player.”
Chanderpaul was also complimentary abut Sutton’s effort. The diminutive West Indian said: “He batted really well, really good. He scored a brilliant hundred. Congrats to him.”
When told about Chanderpaul’s praise, Sutton continued: “That makes me feel like a million dollars. I’ve got an enormous amount of respect for Shiv Chanderpaul, there aren’t too many people in the game that haven’t.”
Lancashire skipper Glen Chapple fell shortly after Chanderpaul’s departure in identical fashion to leave the score at 253-7, but that allowed Sajid Mahmood the opportunity to continue his good form with the willow.
Mahmood carved six boundaries in a 72-ball innings of 42, sharing 75 for the eighth wicket with Sutton to further frustrate the hosts, who were failing to take advantage of swing and a track with life in it.
Mahmood cracked Steve Harmison for three successive boundaries before seeing his leg stump demolished in the 98th over with the score at 328.
And, when Anderson was caught at short leg by Stoneman off the bowling of his former England team-mate for a duck, Sutton looked like he could be left stranded on 91.
But, with a little help from Simon Kerrigan, he was able to pick up the remaining nine runs needed – three figures were confirmed with a driven three off Mitchell Claydon – before Kerrigan edged the next ball behind the wicket.
Lancashire recorded three batting bonus points, and Sutton, who was a student at Durham University, impressively added to his century against Somerset at Old Trafford in May when he was a locum opener.
Sutton then had a hand in the Durham wicket to fall today, safely clinging onto an edge behind from Stoneman off the bowling of Anderson. It turned out to be the last ball of the day.
Chanderpaul said that conditions were easier to bat in than they were on day one, although “the pitch hasn’t flattened out”.
Sutton added: “The thing about Chester-le-Street is that the ball swings. The surface and the fact that there’s been a lot of rain makes it humid most of the time. I think it will swing tomorrow, and we’re blessed with some very good swing bowlers.”
Day 1 Report
Graham Hardcastle at the Riverside
Photo: Simon Pendrigh, Peakpix Digital Images
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd