Durham inflicted a first defeat in 21 LV= County Championship matches upon Lancashire at Old Trafford, scoring the remaining 113 runs needed on day four
Australian left hander Michael Di Venuto proved to be a calming influence in their quest to combat spin twins Gary Keedy and Simon Kerrigan, although he was helped out by Dale Benkenstein.
Di Venuto passed 50 for the seventh time this season as the North East side jumped above the Red Rose in the Division One table with five games to go.
Although Di Venuto fell for 63 off 123 balls to Keedy just before lunch, Benkenstein ensured his side won by six wickets during the early stages of the afternoon session with an unbeaten 41 off 119 balls.
Keedy finished with figures of 3-60 from 32 overs, claiming a ten-for for the sixth time in his career with match figures of 10-128 from 53.2 overs.
Three points clear of Glen Chapple’s men, Durham are 27 points behind leaders Nottinghamshire.
“I don't think we're out of it because of who we've got to play,” said Peter Moores at the close of play. “We've got to go to Canterbury and get a win to get ourselves back in the hunt.
“If we don't win we're under real pressure. To win the Championship, you're probably looking at four wins out of five.
“If you do start to win, you can suddenly get on a bit of a roll. We hope we can get a couple of wins to get us back in the mix.”
Durham started the day on 58-2 from 21 overs, and Kerrigan provided the breakthrough when he bowled night-watchman Mitch Claydon for eight to leave the score at 80-3.
Di Venuto was happy to drop anchor, and reached his 50 off 103 balls with four fours included. But not before Benkenstein had hit three fours off Kerrigan and Keedy to keep the scoreboard ticking.
Umpires Trevor Jesty and Nick Cook turned down a series of lbw shouts, while Benkenstein survived a run out chance on 16 when Steven Croft, in the covers, narrowly missed hitting the stumps at the non-striker’s end.
Keedy claimed his tenth wicket of the match when he had Di Venuto brilliantly caught by a diving Croft at mid wicket to leave the score at 132-4, and he could have had his eleventh the next ball when Mark Chilton couldn't quite hang on to a sharp chance off the bat of Ian Blackwell at short leg.
Paul Horton also carpeted a tough chance at slip off Keedy to reprieve Benkenstein on 36, and that proved to Lancashire’s last chance.
Blackwell hit the winning runs, a cover driven four, off Kerrigan in the 69th over.
Moores added: “I thought it was a really good game of cricket. It had an old fashioned feel to it, lots of spin being bowled, lots of men around the bat.
“We were always a bit light on runs in both innings, 50 light in the first and 50 in the second. Add a 100 runs – and, if we'd set them 270, it would have been a really good contest.”
Lancashire, who face Kent on Wednesday, play Nottinghamshire twice and Somerset at Taunton before the end of the season.