Durham unable to force victory
Nottinghamshire 261 and 172 for 5 drew with Durham 351 and 181 for 3 dec
Durham were unable to tempt Nottinghamshire into chasing a target of 272 in 58 overs and had to settle for a draw in their bid to succeed their visitors as County champions.
With 20 overs left Nottinghamshire needed 134 with seven wickets standing, but they lost Steven Mullaney and skipper Chris Read in quick succession and put up the shutters.
They were 172 for 5 when hands were shaken with four overs left, with the three points for a draw taking Durham six clear at the top. On the day when he signed a new three-year contract, Paul Collingwood suffered a back spasm while making a half-century in the morning and did not resume after lunch.
Ian Blackwell took over and smashed three sixes off Graeme White in making 29 not out off 11 balls, allowing Durham to declare four overs after the break on 181 for 3.
Dale Benkenstein was unbeaten on 61 and with Nottinghamshire again sending in their two debutants to open Durham would have fancied their chances of making up for the loss of more than a day to rain.
England Under-19 batsman Sam Kelsall fell lbw to Callum Thorp for four but Karl Turner, the triallist left-hander who is a product of the Durham Academy, looked very comfortable against the seamers in making 40 off 49 balls.
His troubles started when Blackwell came on first change, bowling into the rough outside his off stump and Turner fell lbw on the back foot. Without Alex Hales and Samit Patel because of England Lions duties, Nottinghamshire simply refused to take liberties with Blackwell and he bowled 19 overs for 30 runs.
They might still have been pondering a late charge for victory until a fourth-wicket stand of 69 in 21 overs was ended when Phil Mustard leapt to his right to hold a brilliant one-handed catch. It gave Graham Onions his eighth wicket of the match and ended Mullaney's contribution to the stand with Adam Voges, who remained unbeaten on 68.
After playing superbly for his unbeaten 133 in the first innings, skipper Read was bowled for a duck when he shaped to leave a ball from Blackwell and realised too late it was coming straight on. Paul Franks then helped Voges play out the remaining overs, refusing even to be tempted by the occasional off spin of Will Smith.