NO-ONE appeals for lbw with such ridiculously prolonged intensity as Imran Tahir and there was a suspicion it earned him one of his five wickets as Durham slid into the mire at Chesterfield yesterday.

Screaming like a banshee, arms extended ever wider, the leg-spinner won an lbw verdict against Graham Clark which umpire Jeremy Lloyds awarded on the third crescendo.

Durham initially took the long handle to Tahir, Jack Burnham driving him over extra cover for six in his third over, which cost 15.

But it was when Burnham paid the price for a risky shot that the slide from 119 for one began. It became 205 for eight, with 14 still needed to avoid the follow-on, before Paul Coughlin and Barry McCarthy played with great assurance in putting on an unbroken 69.

Coughlin smashed a Tahir full toss wide of long-on for six in his 64-ball half-century and remained unbeaten on 62.

After playing for South Africa in the Champions Trophy, Tahir is making his debut for his sixth county, equalling the record shared by Marcus North and Andy Carter.

At 38, Tahir is certainly not growing less excitable, and his antics seemed to amuse Derbyshire fans who had not had a championship win to celebrate for two years until last week's win against Glamorgan.

Their last-wicket stand of 102 changed this game, leaving Durham with a big task to get well beyond the home total of 368.

Faced with batting last against three spinners, they needed a good lead and it looked possible while Michael Richardson, opening for the first time, was putting on 52 with Cameron Steel then 67 with Burnham.

Steel, run out for 21, was furious after playing Tahir's first ball to square leg and being sent back after Richardson initially appeared to call him for a run.

Burnham hit the next ball through mid-wicket and progressed to 35 before he stayed back and tried to whip a ball from outside off stump to leg, only to play on.

It became an all-spin attack when 16-year-old Afghanistan-born off-spinner Hamidullah Qadri was introduced and he bowled more tightly than Tahir.

Richardson, whose 50 came off 88 balls, also played on when trying a dig out a quicker ball of yorker length from Qadri.

Tahir produced the perfect leg break in the first over after tea to defeat Paul Collingwood's forward push, then Ryan Pringle played back in the first over of left-arm seamer Gurjit Sandhu's second spell and was lbw.

Four wickets had gone down for 18, but Clark and Coughlin set about the repairs until Clark's dubious dismissal.

Stuart Poynter's habit of brief cameos produced 20 runs before he sliced Tahir to point and the next ball, a googly, squeezed through Matthew Potts' defence. Potts was bowled on the day he was named in the England Under 19 squad for four-day and one-day matches against India.

McCarthy, unbeaten with 30 and 29 in his last two knocks, continued to press for a move up the order, mixing solid defence with fine strokes in his 32 not out.

On a murky morning, Chris Rushworth beat the bat countless times in the opening half hour before heavy drizzle forced a 35-minute break.

Coughlin finally took the last wicket when Billy Godleman tried to hook a bouncer and edged to Poynter on 98. Having stood his ground on ten when Durham claimed a gully catch, this time he walked.

So Durham didn't have to resist the temptation not to applaud when he reached his century. Sandhu was left unbeaten on 48.

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