County Championship: Worcestershire beat Durham by five wickets despite scare

Chris Rushworth's 22nd first-class five-wicket haul was his first at New Road
Chris Rushworth's 22nd first-class five-wicket haul was his first at New Road
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Blackfinch New Road (day four)
Durham 273: Morris 6-53 & 197: Trevaskis 47; Tongue 5-37
Worcestershire 390: Wessels 118 & 84-5: Rushworth 5-28
Worcestershire (23 pts) beat Durham (4 pts) by five wickets
Match scorecard

Worcestershire were given a scare by Chris Rushworth's five-wicket burst before beating Durham by five wickets.

Josh Tongue's second-innings 5-37 had left Worcestershire a modest final-day chase of 81 at New Road.

Durham seamer Rushworth claimed 5-28 - three bowled and Tom Fell (36) one of two lbws - to leave the home side struggling on 55-5.

But any hopes of an unlikely win for the visitors were ended by Ben Cox and Ross Whiteley, who saw the Pears home.

Their unbroken sixth-wicket stand was worth 29 to help Worcestershire maintain their 100% start to the Championship season.

Relegated from Division One in 2018, they have won both of their fixtures so far this season to top the table, while Durham have now lost their opening three games.

Early leaders Worcestershire now travel to Old Trafford on Monday to face second-placed Lancashire, who have also won both their first two games.

Durham, who are now bottom, are at home to Gloucestershire at Chester-le-Street.

Tom Fell
Tom Fell top-scored with 36 as Worcestershire toiled to their victory target of 81

Worcestershire first-team coach Alex Gidman:

"I was kind of semi-expecting some hard work. We know that Chris Rushworth is a class act.

"As soon as the cloud came over, it was nice bowling conditions - a fourth day wicket with the new ball.

"But, with the exception of dealing with Rushworth, we played really well and thoroughly deserved our victory. I was pretty confident we had enough in the shed to do the job.

"We are doing some of the simple things we set out to do. We are doing those quite well which is really pleasing for everyone.

Durham fast bowler Chris Rushworth told BBC Newcastle:

"It was one of those days where we had to go out and give it everything. We only had 80 to defend so you had to do something special or let the game slip away.

"I ran in and felt good. The overhead conditions were lovely for bowling and if we had had another 60-80 runs on the board we could have made it really interesting.

"Certain things made a difference. A dropped catch, three run-out chances and Riki Wessels had a spell of scoring 70 in something like 10-12 overs which took the game away from us - and in the second innings we weren't good enough with the bat.

"At 55-5 we felt the impossible might happen. Definitely. You've always got to keep believing and if we could have got another quick wicket then something special could have happened but it wasn't to be."

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