Sutton ton puts Lancashire on top
Durham 27 for 1 trail Lancashire 344 by 317 runs
Luke Sutton's second century of the season carried Lancashire out of danger against Durham in a game at Chester-le-Street which has lost 75 overs on the first two days. With 13 overs to bat, Durham reached 27 for 1 in reply to 344, in which Sutton was unbeaten on 101 after going in with Lancashire struggling on 110 for 5. He put on 135 with Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who made 92 on his Red Rose debut against his former team-mates in their County Championship Division One clash.
Play began at 1.55pm following torrential overnight rain, but blue sky prevailed by the time the outfield had dried and the bowlers found little of the first day's help. Dropped on 10, Chanderpaul had added only two to his overnight 30 when he survived a big appeal for caught behind off Steve Harmison.
He was again in luck on 44, when Ben Stokes' shy from gully just missed the stumps with the West Indian short of his ground. His 50 occupied 114 balls with only three fours but he then scored freely and when Ian Blackwell came on his first ball was swept for four and his third lifted to the midwicket boundary.
Liam Plunkett, as erratic in his first spell as he was in conceding 45 off seven overs yesterday, then seemed to benefit from a switch of ends. He suddenly produced a good ball, pitching on off stump and leaving Chanderpaul, to have him caught behind. Plunkett followed up with the similar dismissal of Glen Chapple, but other than a miscued hook on 65, which almost gave Plunkett a return catch, Sutton progressed at an even tempo without much trouble.
He averaged only 25.13 last season, but reached his 168-ball century, which included 12 fours, with three through the covers off Mitch Claydon. Last man Simon Kerrigan fell next ball, giving Phil Mustard his fifth catch of the innings.
It left Claydon with the best figures of 3 for 65 after coming on to replace Harmison, who had just limped off following a diving stop in the outfield. He was later reported to be fine, but his exit ended his eight-over spell after tea. In the seventh over of that spell Sajid Mahmood cut and carved 15 runs off the first five balls before a leg stump yorker bowled him for 42.
He had put on 75 with Sutton, but Harmison followed up by having Jimmy Anderson well caught at short leg by Mark Stoneman to ensure Durham took all three bowling points. In the last over of the day Stoneman edged the first ball to Sutton off Anderson to fall for 11, leaving Michael Di Venuto unbeaten on the same score.