Closing in

JOS Buttler, on 92, stands between Durham and their first championship win of the season with Lancashire on 276 for eight, needing a further 64.

Buttler, always sharp between the sticks, stole a single to cover in the first over after lunch, which also resulted in an overthrow to take him to 50.

Stokes sent down the next over and was obviously bowling well within himself, concentrating on containment. After five dot balls he put a little more into the last one and beat Croft on 55.

Buttler off drove Stokes for four to bring up the 100 stand off 119 balls and they added a further 29 before Croft was well caught at deep square leg by Gordon Muchall off Stokes for 72.

Tom Smith had little trouble taking up where Croft left off, reverse sweeping Borthwick’s second ball for four when the leg-spinner returned.

Buttler knuckled down as Smith kept the score moving but after making 26 he pushed forward to the fourth ball of a Hastings spell and a thick edge was caught by his bootstraps by Borthwick at gully.

Glen Chapple’s first 11 runs included an ungainly heave to cow corner off Borthwick and an inside edge of Hastings which just missed leg stump and also went for four.

When a misfield followed, giving him two more, it looked like being his day but again a bowling change did the trick.

Stokes returned for Borthwick and Chapple chased the fourth ball, which was short and wide, and edged to Mustard.

In the next over Kyle Hogg pushed tentatively forward and had his off stump rattled by Hastings. Kabir Ali is now in the Buttler, with only Simon Kerrigan to come.

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