Durham v Lancashire: Reigning champions claim first win of 2014
|LV= County Championship Division One, Emirates Durham ICG|
|Durham 338 & 267 beat Lancashire 266 & 312 by 27 runs|
|Durham 22pts, Lancashire 5pts|
Champions Durham won for the first time in Division One this season as they beat Lancashire by 27 runs.
Chasing 340 for victory, Lancashire started the day on 41-2 and lost Usman Khawaja and Ashwell Prince cheaply.
A fifth-wicket stand of 129 between Steven Croft (72) and Jos Buttler (100 not out) brought them into contention.
Buttler reached a first century for the visitors, but Chris Rushworth (4-45) took the final wicket to secure a tense victory as they were all out for 312.
The win lifted Durham, who had drawn six and lost one of their first seven Championship matches in 2014, out of the bottom two and above last summer's Division Two champions Lancashire, who dropped into the relegation places.
Lancashire debutant Khawaja, who made 86 in the first innings, fell to Rushworth in the third over of the final day's play, edging a catch to wicketkeeper Phil Mustard.
Any hopes of a Lancashire victory looked to have disappeared when fellow left-hander Prince departed for 19, but Croft, who made an unbeaten century in last week's draw against Warwickshire, and Buttler revived them with a stand of 129.
England all-rounder Ben Stokes broke their partnership when Croft was caught at deep mid-wicket by Gordon Muchall after a 99-ball innings including nine fours.
However, late resistance by Kabir Ali (26) saw Lancashire pass 300 for only the fourth time this summer and ensured a nervy finish at Chester-le-Street.
John Hastings (3-58) had Kabir caught at short leg and after Buttler has reached his hundred, Rushworth trapped last man Simon Kerrigan leg before wicket in the first over with the second new ball to end the match.
BBC Newcastle's Martin Emmerson:
"Durham had to graft hard in the heat in Chester-le-Street to secure their first win of the season, and what a win it was, on an afternoon when nerves were shredded.
"Defeat would have been impossible to contemplate with Lancashire chasing a record 340 to win on the ground, but for long periods it looked like they may do it as Jos Buttler kept chipping away at the target.
"Unfortunately for him, he ran out of partners.
"It was fitting that after a stunning spell of bowling in the morning, Chris Rushworth should return with the new ball in the final session to seal the victory. Credit to all of the bowlers on a pitch where wickets were hard to come by.
"And what a dream debut for Paul Coughlin too. A record score for a Durham number 10 and wickets too. He could not put a foot wrong, but will he be in the side to face Sussex on Sunday?"
Lancashire captain Glen Chapple told BBC Radio Lancashire:
"We played really well - 340 to win on that pitch was an unlikely target.
"We needed to see the new ball off and then Steven Croft and Jos Buttler built a fantastic partnership.
"It's difficult to accept defeat when you get so close. We collapsed in the first innings and we're all very disappointed about that.
"I thought the character the lads displayed and the support they gave to each other shows that we will get some results."