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Durham late season surge continues

August 23, 2012 « Rodriguez beats Froome to Stage Six win | Chartbeat test »
Durham have responded superbly under Paul Collingwood's leadership © PA Photos
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Experienced duo Dale Benkenstein and Paul Collingwood helped Durham overcome a brief scare to record their fourth successive victory in LV= County Championship Division One with a six-wicket win at home to relegation-threatened Worcestershire.

The hosts resumed at 3-1 for one chasing 151 for victory and endured some nervy moments as they slipped to 35 for four, Alan Richardson taking three for 29. But an unbroken stand of 119 between Dale Benkenstein (62 not out) and captain Paul Collingwood (53no) led them to an ultimately comfortable win, leaving them 40 points clear of their opponents in the table with three games remaining.

Sussex were well placed to beat Somerset after Monty Panesar's match haul of 13 wickets left them to chase only 164. Panesar took six for 77 in the second innings, adding to his first-innings seven for 60, as Somerset were bowled out for 195. Nine batsmen reached double figures, but only openers Arul Suppiah (59) and Marcus Trescothick (38) passed 20. Title-chasing Sussex closed on 31 without loss, needing a further 133 for a fourth win in five games.

Centuries from Dawid Malan and Chris Rogers gave Middlesex the upper hand against leaders Warwickshire as they closed on 351 for five, 305 runs ahead. Rogers made 109 and Malan was 138no, having put on 99 with Gareth Berg (53no). Warwickshire earlier added 40 to their overnight 293 for eight, Keith Barker making 23 before Tim Murtagh (three for 68) wrapped up the innings.

In Division Two, a remarkable ninth-wicket partnership between Wayne Madsen and Tom Poynton turned the game in favour of leaders Derbyshire against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.

The pair came together with their side 147 runs adrift at 253 for eight, but added 259 by the close to see them to 512 for eight, a lead of 112. Madsen's 223no and Poynton's 105no were both career-best scores while the partnership is already the third-highest for the ninth wicket in the history of first-class cricket. The record of 283, which has stood since 1910, is also held by Derbyshire courtesy of Arnold Warren and John Chapman.

Promotion-chasing Hampshire were battling to avoid defeat against rock-bottom Leicestershire after being reduced to 77 for four in their second innings, still 363 runs in arrears. There were contributions throughout the order as Leicestershire declared their second innings on 265 for eight for a lead of 440.

And captain Matthew Hoggard took two for 24 as they quickly made inroads into the visitors' line-up.

In the Clydesdale Bank 40, Steven Croft and Karl Brown put on a magnificent unbroken century stand to lead Lancashire to an eight-wicket victory over Essex at Chelmsford, which earned the Group A winners a home semi-final.

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