DURHAM made an early breakthrough after captain Cameron Bancroft set Leicestershire a formidable 393 to win the County Championship match at the Fischer County Ground.

Foxes captain Paul Horton was caught behind by Ned Eckersley, a fine low catch diving to his right by the former Leicestershire player, off the bowling of Nathan Rimmington shortly before the close.

It completed an excellent day’s work for Rimmington, who after coming in as night-watchman the previous evening, went on to make 92 as Durham piled on the runs in their second innings

Rimington said: "I think some previous Durham teams might have rolled over after that first innings but this one has the belief to win from any position and we've shown that in this game.

"Days two and three were certainly the best for batting, but hopefully it'll start to go up and down a little bit tomorrow. It's not a wicket you can sort of blast a team out on though, we're going to have to be patient, bowl maidens and grind them down, build pressure and maybe win it in the final session..

"It's a shame not to have to got my hundred, but I did enjoy it - I got myself in and was able to play my expansively as the game went on. You get full value for your shots out there."

Resuming at the start of play on 191-1, Rimmington and Alex Lees extended their partnership to 71 before Lees, within sight of what would have been a third championship century of the season, was unfortunate to glove a leg-side delivery from Gavin Griffiths through to wicket-keeper Lewis Hill.

Rimmington continued to thrive however, reaching his half-century off 71 balls, including six fours and a six, and with Gareth Harte playing himself in solidly, the visitors passed 300 shortly before the lunch.

Having toiled away all morning with just one success, Leicestershire did manage to pick up four more wickets in the afternoon session, three of which came as Durham added just one run to their score. Rimmington, on 92, went leg before to a Mohammad Abbas delivery which seamed back in, Jack Burnham was bowled by a Neil Dexter out-swinger for a single, and then Harte also went leg before to Abbas, reducing Durham from 349-2 to 350-5.

Graham Clark and Liam Trevaskis repaired some of the damage with a stand of 34 before Clark, responding to his partner’s call, was run out by Colin Ackermann’s direct hit from backward point, but Trevaskis and Eckersley then compiled an impressive century partnership off just 19.3 overs to enable Bancroft to declare after Trevaskis had holed out to long-on off Griffiths.

Leicestershire batsman Colin Ackermann said: "It's a very do-able job. I was actually very surprised they declared so early. I think another 335 on the last day is a big task, but we're well capable of doing it, it just takes one big partnership of say 150 to stack the odds in our favour. It's going to be an exciting day's cricket.

"All our batsmen have scored runs at various times this season, so we're well capable. If one guy can score 140, 150, the rest can bat around him, and with the very very quick outfield here, and with them already having overs in their legs it could be very interesting. Their spinner hasn't bowled yet, so we'll have to wait and see if spin is going to be a factor.

"There aren't too many demons in the pitch, and as soon as the bowler misses his line or length you can score quite quickly."