Lancashire v Durham: Tom Smith sparks hosts' fightback

Cricket
County Championship Division One, Liverpool (day one, close):
Lancashire 221-6 v Durham
Durham 2pts, Lancashire 1pt
Match scorecard

Tom Smith scored an unbeaten 86 as Lancashire recovered from 11-4 on day one against Durham at Liverpool.

Durham, aiming for their fifth championship win in a row, were on top after Graham Onions (3-26) claimed three of the first four wickets.

But Lancashire fought back thanks to an unbroken partnership of 91 for the seventh wicket between Smith and Kyle Hogg (36 not out).

Wicketkeeper Gareth Cross added 57 runs and Ashwell Prince scored 31.

Nottinghamshire (in 2006) and Yorkshire (in 2002) are the only two teams to suffer relegation from the top-flight the year after becoming champions.

Lancashire are aiming to avoid a similar fate after lifting the title in 2011.

They began the game in the relegation places, 15 points behind Surrey in seventh, while wins against Middlesex, Surrey, Nottinghamshire and Worcestershire had taken Durham into a mid-table position.

VIEWS FROM THE COMMENTARY BOX

BBC Radio Lancashire's Scott Read:

"It was a great fightback by Lancashire, led by the man of the moment.

"Fresh from hitting Lancashire's fastest ever one-day century against Worcestershire, and the equal fifth fastest of all time, Tom Smith played superbly for his unbeaten 86.

"For very different reasons, it was every bit as impressive as his big hitting at New Road.

"His partnership with Ashwell Prince, then Gareth Cross and currently Kyle Hogg could be vital in Lancashire's battle to avoid relegation. Cross hit an impressive 57, his second half century of the season.

"Looking at the forecast, day one might be the best batting day, making the recovery from 11-4 potentially even more important."

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