Middlesex v Durham: Hosts face fight as Durham near safety

John Hastings
Hastings took 37 first-class wickets in his first season with Durham
LV= County Championship Division One, Lord's
Durham 377 & 294 beat Middlesex 276 & 254 by 141 runs
Durham 23 pts, Middlesex 5 pts
Match scorecard

Durham took a big step towards securing their Division One status with a 141-run victory at Lord's over Middlesex, who remain in relegation trouble.

Resuming on 44-1 chasing an unlikely 396 to win, the hosts lost Sam Robson (38) in the second over of the morning.

Chris Rushworth (3-74) and Peter Chase (2-29) then reduced them to 139-7.

John Hastings' final act in a Durham shirt this season saw him have Tim Murtagh caught by Peter Chase as Middlesex were bowled out for 254.

Durham captain Paul Collingwood completed a fine all-round game by adding the vital wickets of Dawid Malan (46), who top-scored again for the home side, and Paul Stirling (15) to his two half-centuries with the bat.

The win was the visitors' first at Lord's against Middlesex since 1998 and leaves the hosts still battling relegation.

For Durham, who lost their County Championship crown to Yorkshire earlier in the day, their fourth victory of season ensured they will stay in Division One for another season after Lancashire suffered a seven-wicket loss to Sussex at Hove.

Middlesex managing director Angus Fraser told BBC London 94.9:

"It was a very dewy first morning and the ball got wet and soft. We didn't bowl as well as we could have done when we had Durham 24-3, and 370 was too many runs on a pitch that did a bit throughout, especially when the cloud cover came over on the second and third day.

"Durham get a good side out there, unlike a few clubs they don't have a big squad, but it was a pretty strong side out there.

"They've played us on the back of some good performances, they've got through to the One-Day Cup final and they beat Nottinghamshire last week quite comfortably, so we played them on a bit of an upward curve, while we've sort of plateaued out."

Durham coach Jon Lewis told BBC Radio Newcastle:

"We have played some really good cricket here this week, it has been a hard win, but to have bowled them out twice for around 250 on this pitch is an excellent effort.

"I thought on the third day batting was difficult with the overhead conditions which made a massive difference to how the ball behaved. We had to work really hard to get out lead.

"On the back of two wins we are looking forward and we will be going into the last two matches looking to press on.

"The table is still quite tight and we could climb quite quickly and maybe finish in a place we are much more comfortable with."

BBC Radio Newcastle's Martin Emmerson:

"Durham's last win at Lord's in a Championship match was in 1998 - and that was the only one until now.

"Back then they just reached their target of 240 with a wicket to spare. This time it was far more comfortable with victory looking certain within the first half hour of the day as Chris Rushworth took three wickets.

"By lunch Middlesex were seven down and it was a case of when, rather than if, for Durham. The Blaydon Races rang out from the visitors' dressing room at the close, in stark contrast to three weeks ago when they lost at Lancashire and ended up in the relegation zone.

"What price the same song on this ground on 20 September when Durham play Warwickshire in the One-Day Cup final?"