Gary Keedy claimed career-best bowling figures but Durham hold the advantage after an eventful second day at Old Trafford
An impressive all-round display from Ian Blackwell has put Durham in the driving seat at the halfway stage of a pulsating LV= County Championship match against Lancashire.
Blackwell, the former Somerset and England man, finished off a five-wicket haul before scoring 65 off 67 balls, including six fours and a six, during a day of cricket which saw 18 wickets fall.
Lancashire, who were bowled out for 181 this morning, then saw the visitors respond with 237, to gain an important lead of 56.
Red Rose left arm spinner Gary Keedy claimed a career best 7-68 from 21.2 overs before Lancashire closed the day on 22-2 from eleven overs of their second innings.
Keedy insisted that he has had better days for less reward. He explained: “Cricket’s a funny game because I didn’t bowl particularly well by my own standards, but I ended with a career best.
“I’ve bowled spells of one or two for 80 here in the past when I’ve come off the field thinking I’ve done well. But people judge you by your figures.
“I got my tactics wrong first up, but I soon worked it out and then it worked for me after tea. I bowled a little bit too full and wide, maybe a little bit quick too.”
Earlier, the Red Rose could only add 50 runs for the loss of six wickets to their overnight first innings 131-4. Blackwell and Steve Harmison shared the wickets, taking three each and leaving Mark Chilton’s 69 as the top score.
Sajid Mahmood hit two fours and a six in an entertaining 20, but Lancs also lost Gareth Cross, Chilton, Glen Chapple, Simon Kerrigan and Luke Sutton before the lunch break.
Despite Durham falling to 41-3 - Keedy taking two of them – Blackwell shared crucial stands of 83 and 45 for the fourth and fifth wickets with middle order colleagues Dale Benkenstein and Ben Stokes.
Michael Di Venuto had earlier been trapped lbw by Mahmood, Gordon Muchall caught behind by Sutton off Keedy the ball before lunch and Mark Stoneman trapped lbw by Keedy after the break.
Blackwell, who had crashed Keedy for six over mid wicket four balls into his innings, and Benkenstein had taken their score to 124-4 in the 25th over. But the latter was the first of four wickets to fall for 51 runs.
He was trapped lbw by Chapple before Keedy bowled Blackwell and had Phil Mustard caught at slip by Paul Horton after top edging an attempted sweep, the latter two wickets coming in the space of three balls.
And, when Stokes was caught behind off a top edged sweep to Kerrigan, Durham were seven down and still six runs behind.
Liam Plunkett and Scott Borthwick then shared a frustrating 51 for the eighth wicket to ensure their side took a lead, but Keedy had Borthwick caught by Horton at first slip, Mitch Claydon caught at mid on by Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Plunkett bowled.
Keedy said: “Personally it was nice to get a career best, but we’re fairly disappointed not to have bowled them out for less than 200.”
Lancashire then lost openers Horton and Tom Smith to fall to 10-2, Horton caught behind by Mustard down the leg side off Claydon and Smith edging Harmison to Di Venuto at second slip. Chilton and might-watchman Keedy will resume tomorrow morning.
Keedy added: “The wicket’s not getting any better, and I wouldn’t like to say what a good total is. (A lead of) 150 will be competitive, but a few more would be better.”
Day 1 Report
Graham Hardcastle at Old Trafford
Photo: Simon Pendrigh, Peakpix Digital Images
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd