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RESULT
27th Match, Blackpool, May 17 - 20, 2024, County Championship Division One
357 & 353/9d
(T:475) 236 & 414

Lancashire won by 60 runs

Report

George Balderson rescues Lancashire as Durham falter in mighty run-chase

Bedingham, Robinson centuries come close to overhauling a hefty target of 475

George Balderson triggered a Kent collapse, Lancashire vs Kent, County Championship, Division One, Old Trafford, May 3, 3024

George Balderson struck hard with the new ball to end Durham's surge  •  Getty Images

Lancashire 357 (Jennings 115, Raine 3-67) and 353 for 9 dec (Jennings 155, Stokes 5-98) beat Durham 236 (Bedingham 101, Aspinwall 5-41, Lyon 4-59) and 414 (Robinson 171*, Bedingham 103, Balderson 4-52) by 60 runs
George Balderson took four vital wickets with the new ball to help Lancashire secure a 60-run victory over Durham in their Vitality County Championship match at Blackpool.
Balderson's achievement overshadowed the contributions of more illustrious cricketers on each side. Nathan Lyon took one wicket on the final day, Ben Stokes made just 18, and the seamer's 4 for 52 also ensured that Durham's centurions, David Bedingham and Ollie Robinson, finished on the losing side.
That was hard on Bedingham, who made two hundreds in the game, and Robinson, who finished on the losing side despite making a career-best 171 not out. But the outcome seemed unlikely when the Durham pair were putting on 216 for the fourth wicket and taking Durham to 313 for three in pursuit of 475 to win.
The morning session began poorly for Lancashire. Robinson pulled Saqib Mahmood for two sixes in his opening overs and Durham scored 50 runs in the first 45 minutes of play. It was just on the hour mark when Lyon bowled the first maiden of the day, by which time both Bedingham and Robinson had reached their fifties.
Almost the only scare the Durham batters suffered in the first two hours came when Bedingham was dropped on 54, Luke Wells just failing to cling on to a sharp one-handed chance to his right off Lyon.
Robinson eventually reached his first century of the season off 132 balls, having scored 90 runs in the morning, with a sweep off Lyon in the over before lunch. At the interval, Durham were 284 for three; Bedingham and Robinson had scored 150 runs off 30 overs in the session.
After lunch, Keaton Jennings entrusted his attack to the spinners and the flow of runs slowed a little. But Bedingham copied Jennings by making his second century of the match when he cover-drove Wells for four and it was only the tenth time in the history of the County Championship that two players have achieved the feat in the same match.
Having reached that landmark, Bedingham pushed forward to his next delivery and was caught by Matty Hurst off Lyon for 103, thus ending his 216-run fourth-wicket stand with Robinson.
That breakthrough for Lancashire brought Stokes to the wicket with his side still needing 162 to win but having taken 22 balls to get off the mark with a reverse-swept four off Lyon, the England captain then took a four and a six off successive balls from Wells' next over. However, the leg-spinner had his revenge shortly afterwards when Stokes was bowled for 18 when attempting a reverse-sweep to a full-length delivery.
Lancashire took the new ball with the score on 362 for five only for Graham Clark's pulled six off Aspinwall to take Durham to within a hundred of their target. That, though, was followed by what seemed a pivotal over as Balderson had Clark caught behind for 18 and Paul Coughlin taken at slip by Jennings for a second-ball nought.
Next over, Balderson sprinted forwards to take a return catch off bat and pad to get rid of Ben Raine for three. A gigantic mix-up between new batter Matthew Potts and Robinson saw Potts run out for two thanks to substitute fielder George Lavelle's accurate throw to the bowler's end.
Robinson then took the attack to Lancashire's bowler but his 26-run last-wicket partnership with Callum Parkinson ended when Parkinson was caught at slip by Jennings, Lancashire's twin-centurion, off Balderson.
It is Lancashire's first victory of the season in the County Championship but it can take them no higher than ninth in the First Division. The only downside for the Red Rose was that Mahmood bowled only two overs on the last day and seemed to be suffering from an unspecified injury.

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County Championship Division One

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