Durham hold their nerve

Stokes snares final two wickets as visitors fall short chasing 118

Last updated: 29th July 2012  

 Tim Murtagh - Middlesex

Tim Murtagh bagged three wickets as Middlesex dismantled Durham

Steven Finn Middlesex 2012

Steven Finn: claimed 4-80 to bowl the hosts out for 200 second time around

Ben Stokes Durham bowling in the LV= County Championship

Ben Stokes: claimed the final two wickets for Durham to wrap up victory

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Durham claimed a crucial 15-run win over Middlesex on a tense third morning at Chester-le-Street to boost their survival hopes in Division One.

Middlesex resumed on Sunday on 58-5 in the LV= County Championship contest needing a further 60 to record victory in a match that had seen just one half-century and a highest team score of exactly 200.

Their hopes were dealt an early blow when John Simpson departed before a run had been added, Graham Onions getting the wicketkeeper caught behind for 10.

Gareth Berg was only able to contribute five and when Toby Roland-Jones, who made a valiant knock of 34, and Ollie Rayner both fell with the score on 98, Durham suddenly had the match in their grasp.

Ben Stokes was the bowler to dismiss Rayner (11) and he duly ended the match, clinching his side's first four-day win of the season in the process, when Tim Murtagh edged through to wicketkeeper Michael Richardson.

Onions enhanced his claims for an England Test recall with match figures of 6-76, while Chris Rushworth (4-41) was the pick of the Durham attack in the second innings.

Day Two

Middlesex will resume on day three needing a further 60 runs with five wickets in hand to win a low-scoring thriller against Durham at Chester-le-Street.

Having bowled out their rivals cheaply for a second time in the crucial Division One contest, England paceman Steven Finn taking the last two home wickets to finish with 4-80, Middlesex were left requiring 118 for victory.

However they suffered a disastrous start to their run chase when they lost both openers without a run on the board before left-handed duo Dawid Malan and Eoin Morgan both fell lbw to Chris Rushworth.

Joe Denly edged Callum Thorp to slip to leave the score at 38-5, but Toby Roland-Jones emerged to make an unbeaten 15 as he and John Simpson saw the visitors through to the close without any further damage being done.

They had also started Saturday's play at the crease, moving on from their overnight total on from 144-7 before being bowled out for 185, meaning a useful lead of 83.

Durham were four down by the time they had nudged ahead and although Scott Borthwick, who made an unbeaten 41, and Thorp (36) offered late contributions, they were eventually all out for 200.

Day One

Middlesex bowler Tim Murtagh claimed 3-27 as Durham collapsed to 102 all out on day one of their LV= County Championship Division One clash at Chester-le-Street.

The visitors won the toss and opted to field - a decision of immediate benefit as Murtagh trapped Durham opener Will Smith in front without scoring.

The Irish seamer then produced an excellent piece of fielding to dismiss Gordon Muchall cheaply, and when Gareth Berg sent Ben Stokes back for a duck and Murtagh located the edge of Mark Stoneman, the hosts were teetering on 24-4.

The middle-order all reached double figures at least - England star Steven Finn accounting for top scorer Michael Richardson (22) to wrap up a poor Durham effort.

Wickets fell at regular intervals during the Middlesex reply but Chris Rogers scored quickly having opened - belting 59 off 82 balls before falling to Graham Onions.

Three wickets for Stokes tore through the visitors' middle-order but they still reached stumps 32 runs ahead on 144-7 with Berg unbeaten on 30.