Durham edge to win
Benkenstein's half-century settles run chase
Last Updated: June 29, 2011 8:00pm
Benkenstein: held nerve in run chase
Former skipper Dale Benkenstein hit 60 not out as Durham claimed a tense five-wicket success over Lancashire at Liverpool.
The visitors resumed on the third morning at 27-3 in pursuit of a victory target of 181.
Will Smith and Paul Collingwood extended their fourth-wicket stand to 58 before both fell in quick succession to peg Durham back to 101-5.
Collingwood was caught by Stephen Croft off seamer Luke Procter's bowling (1-11) for 45 and left-arm spinner Gary Keedy (1-31) trapped Smith lbw for a painstaking 30.
But Benkenstein, who hit seven fours and passed 1,000 first-class runs for the season, stood firm in the company of Ian Blackwell (26no).
The sixth-wicket duo came together shortly before lunch and added an unbroken 81 in 20.2 overs to see Durham home in mid-afternoon.
Durham's 19-point haul for the win moves them 23 points clear of Lancashire at the top of the LV County Championship Division One table, although the Red Rose county have played a game less.
The top-of-the-table clash looks set for a thrilling finish on day three after Durham slumped to 27-3 in pursuit of a victory target of 181 against Lancashire.
Kyle Hogg struck twice and Sajid Mahmood once before the close as First Division leaders Durham wobbled against their closest pursuers.
Day two was not quite as action-packed as Monday's first day, when 20 wickets fell, but 13 still went down.
Only two Lancashire batsmen made it into double figures when they were bowled out for 84 in the first innings but each of their top six achieved that feat second time around.
Opener Paul Horton hit 64 from 100 balls before Luke Procter batted expertly with the lower order to record only his second Championship fifty, a well-made 52 off 105 balls.
Graham Onions and Steve Harmison shared six wickets, Onions finishing with 4-74 from 15.2 overs as Lancashire were bowled out for 282.
Durham pair Will Smith and Paul Collingwood will resume at the start of day three with Durham needing another 154 for a win which would extend their lead at the top to 23 points.
Ball most definitely dominated bat at Liverpool as 20 wickets fell on day one of the Division One clash between Lancashire and Durham.
After Durham had won the toss and elected to bowl, Callum Thorp took 6-20 from 12.2 overs to skittle the hosts for just 84 inside 34 overs.
Only two Lancashire batsmen reached double figures first time around as Thorp and Graham Onions, who picked up 2-19, took advantage of movement off the pitch and also through the air.
However, Durham didn't find life much easier when it came to their turn to bat. At one stage they had slumped to 102-8, Sajid Mahmood picking up three wickets and Luke Proctor (3-39) claiming two in as many balls.
But Dale Benkenstein proved a tough obstacle for the Red Rose county, hitting 10 fours in a 133-ball knock of 83 that could prove crucial in the final reckoning.
The former South Africa batsman shared a 79-run stand with Onions (21) that helped the visitors reach 186 before they were bowled out.
Bad light then meant Lancashire only faced three balls of their second innings.
They closed on four without loss and resume on Tuesday 98 runs behind.