A battling innings from Durham captain Cameron Bancroft ensured his side clung on for a determined draw against Lancashire, who were rueing the loss of two key bowlers on the final day at Sedbergh School.

Bancroft held the Lancashire attack at bay for the whole of Durham’s innings, with the Australian finishing unbeaten on 92 to continue his good form with the bat at his new county who have rallied after a difficult start to the season.

Lancashire were full of hope at tea, having taken five wickets throughout the morning and afternoon sessions, but with both James Anderson and Liam Livingstone missing from their attack through injury, it became increasingly clear their threadbare line up did not have the firepower to trouble the brilliant Bancroft, who led his team to the close, alongside an equally committed Ben Raine.

Earlier in the day, a blistering spell from paceman Saqib Mahmood had put Lancashire in pole position.

Taking the new ball in place of the injured Jimmy Anderson, the 22-year-old claimed two victims in his first two overs, clipping Alex Lees’ off stump after the scoreless batsman had shouldered arms, before spread-eagling Gareth Harte’s wickets again for no score.

That left Durham 11 for two and they had progressed to 39 for two by lunch after Bancroft was joined by Jack Burnham, the pair surviving Mahmood’s onslaught to leave them requiring another 265 runs to win with eight wickets remaining.

Lancashire continued to push for victory through the middle session, claiming three wickets after lunch, with Burnham the second batsman to be clean bowled shouldering arms when he misjudged a Graham Onions delivery.

However, Lancashire’s bowling options were limited and Durham took advantage, with Bancroft and Graham Clarke constructing a fourth wicket partnership of 69, before Josh Bohannon bowled Clarke for 26 with a delivery that kept low and hit his off stump.

Liam Trevaskis followed soon after with Onions picking up another wicket when the all-rounder edged to Rob Jones at second slip for three.

Bancroft remained unbeaten on 57 at tea with Ned Eckersley joining him on three not out as Durham prepared to face 35 overs requiring another 182 runs to win with five wickets remaining.

But 30 minutes after tea, the host’s hopes were raised again when Eckersley played on to Mahmood, but it was not to be as Bancroft and Raine (19no) steered Durham to 6pm when the players shook hands with four overs left and with the score 194 for six.

Durham, who have now gone four games unbeaten, sit in eighth.