Durham continued their impressive run of form in the Specsavers County Championship Division Two by defeating Worcestershire by 109 runs at Emirates Riverside.

The home side had laid the groundwork for their triumph on day three with a solid batting performance followed by a late onslaught by Chris Rushworth. He returned to notch third five-wicket haul of the campaign on the final day, claiming 10 wickets in the match with figures of 10-67.

Ben Cox and Ed Barnard did offer resistance with a sixth-wicket partnership of 96, but it was in vain as Worcestershire slipped to their second defeat on the bounce in the Championship. Durham extended their unbeaten run to six matches, securing their fourth victory of the season to move into fourth place in the table, one point behind Northamptonshire in the final promotion spot.

Head coach James Franklin admitted: "It has been a good period for us. It's well documented that the start of the Championship season was a tough one for us, but our last six games have been outstanding. It started with our first Championship win here against Derbyshire and we've just been able to continue through the next five games.

“We're now in a real scrap, the whole division is wide open. Teams are beating each other, so it's going to be a battle for those top three places at the back end of the season to get promoted.’’

And he saluted Rushworth: "Chris' record speaks for itself in Championship cricket over the last few years, particularly here at the Riverside.

“It's one thing having conditions that are helpful, but it's another thing doing it on a consistent basis. He's a huge reason why we are where we are at the moment.

“If we are going to challenge to get promoted then we hope and we need him to take more wickets. Kudos to him for getting 10 wickets and getting on our honours' board. It's a hugely memorable game for him."

The visitors resumed 31-3, but Rushworth was to continue his charge from the previous evening.

He had an lbw appeal turned down against Ross Whiteley, although the veteran seamer returned to remove the Worcestershire batsman's off stump for 18. Rushworth claimed his fifth wicket of the innings after probing away at Callum Ferguson. He found the edge and Graham Clark took the catch at first slip to reduce the visitors to 56-5.

Worcestershire were in dire need of a partnership to stem the tide. Barnard and Cox provided a semblance of resistance at the crease. They deployed a positive approach and brought a 50 partnership before the lunch break, reaching the milestone in 65 balls.

Barnard and Cox continued to frustrate the Durham bowlers after lunch, working their way towards a century stand. However, their partnership was broken on 96 when Nathan Rimmington trapped Barnard lbw for 43. Cox was able to work his way to a deserved half-century.

Brydon Carse got the vital breakthrough the hosts, utilising his pace to hurry Cox on his glance to the legside that found the edge and allowed Ryan Pringle to claim the catch at cover. Carse then notched his second wicket courtesy of a fine diving catch from Ned Eckersley behind the stumps to remove Joe Leach. Durham closed in on the victory as Dillon Pennington played a loose drive at a Rimmington delivery, resulting in a good low claim by Clark at first slip from the edge.

Brett D'Oliveira and Charlie Morris put on 43 for the final wicket, but Rushworth returned to earn his sixth wicket of the innings and 10th in the match by bowling Morris to put Durham into fourth in the table, just a point behind third-placed Northamptonshire.