DURHAM were denied victory in a nerve-shredding finish as Hampshire's last pair survived the final 14 minutes at the Ageas Bowl yesterday.

A maiden five-wicket haul for Ryan Pringle took Durham tantalisingly close but debut boy Mason Crane hung on in partnership with another youngster, Lewis McManus.

Playing only his second first-class game, the wicketkeeper clipped the final ball for four to reach 53 after defying Durham for 166 balls.

Crane offered a half chance to Paul Collingwood at slip with ten balls left, but the Durham skipper was chiefly left to rue the loss of 35 minutes to rain.

It officially cost nine overs and there were 15 left when Hampshire resumed on 142 for seven, but by bowling spin at both ends Durham squeezed in two more overs before the 6pm cut-off.

The last one was bowled by Chris Rushworth, but after taking nine wickets in the match and bagging a hat-trick it was asking a lot for him to finish the job. McManus was able to leave three balls outside off stump.

The target of 305 in 72 overs set by Collingwood always looked well beyond the bottom club, especially when Michael Carberry fell to the first ball of the innings.

Contributions were needed from Carberry and new acting captain James Vince, who is also capable of quick scoring, if Hampshire were to get anywhere near.

But both registered ducks, as did Will Smith, as Hampshire quickly slumped to 39 for five.

Although they badly needed a win, the danger in setting them such a tall target was that they would shut up shop after a poor start, and there was always a threat from the weather.

Tea-time drizzle did not result in any loss of time but after the later shower Durham had to resume on a wet outfield and contend with trying to keep the ball dry.

They had seven men round the bat, while coaches Jon Lewis and Alan Walker took up positions just beyond the boundary so they could quickly retrieve any balls which crossed the rope.

Jackson Bird, career average 9.17, made 12 before he became the second of Pringle's four lbw victims, and James Tomlinson, career average 10.6, survived for 16 balls before he went the same way for the fourth duck of the innings.

That brought in 18-year-old Crane, but other than his edged four past Collingwood he looked equal to the task, and was well protected by McManus.

On a pitch of increasingly variable bounce and offering plenty of turn, Pringle took his first two wickets without conceding a run and finished with five for 63.

He was given the northern end in front of the new hotel, where the bulk of the wickets taken by spinners had fallen. That was to Scott Borthwick's disadvantage, but he broke what seemed likely to be the last serious resistance when he bowled Gareth Berg for 36.

Collingwood declared 30 minutes before lunch after his unbeaten 29 off 22 balls capped the most fluent batting of the match.

Runs were scored at no more than three an over during the first three days, but Durham added 129 in 22 overs.

Mark Stoneman, on 39 overnight, reached 50 off 78 balls then hit a straight six off Liam Dawson and went on to make 88 before he was bowled trying to sweep Crane.

The leg-spinner had taken all the wickets when Collingwood declared on 190 for four and with six overs to negotiate before lunch Hampshire's hopes suffered an instant setback.

Carberry edged the first ball from Rushworth to Michael Richardson, but Jimmy Adams and Dawson put on 32 before four wickets went down for seven runs.

There were two more wickets for Rushworth as he had Dawson lbw for 20 and Adams caught behind for 12 when trying to withdraw his bat.

Pringle, bowling round the wicket, struck with his second ball when he had Vince lbw then Smith edged to Collingwood at slip.

But that was when McManus arrived to lead the resistance, helped initially by 32 from Joe Gatting.

McManus was playing only because the highly-rated Adam Wheater was unavailable, but he showed that he will take some shifting.