LV County Championship - Division One
New Road - Day Four
Worcestershire 356 (G M Andrew 77, D K H Mitchell 67, L E Plunkett 4-104) & 410-7 (S M Davies 97, G M Andrew 59 no, R A Jones 53 no, L E Plunkett 4-132) v Durham 634-8 dec (S Chanderpaul 201 no, M J Di Venuto 113, D M Benkenstein 109, L E Plunkett 52)
Worcestershire (9pts) drew with Durham (12pts)
Relegated Worcestershire held firm on the final day at New Road to stop Division One champions Durham ending their season on a winning note.
Having resumed on 41-1 requiring a further 237 to avoid an innings defeat, the Pears fought hard to make sure the fixture ended in a draw.
Steven Davies hit 97 to lead the Pears to 410-7 in their second innings, the departing wicketkeeper-batsman hitting 16 fours and three sixes in a counter-attacking knock that saw him face just 75 balls.
When he departed three short of a deserved ton, the fourth victim of the innings for Liam Plunkett, Worcestershire were just 13 ahead.
However unbeaten half-centuries from Gareth Andrew, who finished up on 59 not out, and Richard Jones (53no) saw the hosts to saftey.
The draw was a small crumb of comfort for Worcestershire, though, as for the first time since 1928 they have gone through an entire summer without registering a championship win.
Champions Durham look set to complete an unbeaten season after Shivnarine Chanderpaul's double century allowed them to declare at 634-8 against Worcestershire, a first-innings lead of 278.
Worcestershire, already relegated from Division One, finished day three at New Road on 41-1 in their second innings, requiring a further 237 to avoid an innings defeat.
Durham resumed at 390-3 on the third morning and Dale Benkenstein, on 91, progressed to his fifth century of the summer in the fifth over when he pulled Chris Whelan (1-94) for his 18th four.
Benkenstein edged behind off Gareth Andrew (2-121) shortly afterwards to depart for 109 and bring an end to a fourth-wicket stand of 226 with Chanderpaul.
Chanderpaul, however, turned his overnight position of 100 into an unbeaten 201 as Worcestershire's bowlers, aided by helpful conditions in the morning, toiled in vain to remove the left-hander.
His second hundred was a watchful affair off 231 deliveries and, in total, the Guyanan faced 382 balls during an epic innings that lasted close to eight-and-a-half hours.
Liam Plunkett (52) offered good support in a 103-run stand for the seventh wicket and, after number 10 Mark Davies (16no) escorted Chanderpaul to his double hundred, Durham declared on the fourth highest total ever made against Worcestershire.
The Pears, without a championship victory all season, lost Stephen Moore (16) lbw to Ian Blackwell (1-3) in the 12 overs possible before the close.
Durham cruised beyond Worcestershire's first innings total with Michael Di Venuto and Shivnarine Chanderpaul both hitting centuries.
After bowling the hosts out for 356, Durham powered to 390-3 as their bid to remain unbeaten as champions looks bang on course.
Di Venuto's 113 was his fifth century against the Pears and saw him become the first player to make 1,500 Championship runs in a season for Durham and equal Paul Collingwood's county record of six centuries in 2005.
Hapless Worcestershire seem certain to end the season without a win as they head for Division Two, but at least they secured a fourth batting point to avoid taking Glamorgan's record for the lowest points total.
Di Venuto and Kyle Coetzer produced an opening stand of 124 before the Scot went for 44 with a misplaced pull shot, but Di Venuto powered on to make 113 from just 114 balls by the time he was bowled by Moeen Ali.
Chanderpaul and Dale Benkenstein took the game away from Worcestershire with their unbroken partnership of 183 to put Durham 34 runs ahead by the close.
West Indian star Chanderpaul looked untroubled throughout his third century in four innings, bringing up his 100 off 151 balls in the last over, while Benkenstein will start just nine runs short of his hundred when play resumes on Friday.
Daryl Mitchell and Gareth Andrew struck half-centuries as Worcestershire reached 347-9 on day one of the LV County Championship Division One fixture against Durham at New Road.
Relegation has long since been confirmed for the rock-bottom Pears and, with Durham having clinched the title last week, the match is effectively a dead rubber.
Nevertheless, Worcestershire have the chance to claim their first victory of the season and, to that end, made a decent fist of things after opting to bat first.
Opening batsman Mitchell, who scored 298 in the draw against Somerset at Taunton last week, led the way with 67 off 81 balls.
His dismissal, lbw to Dale Benkenstein (2-38), reduced Worcestershire to 120-4 and left the innings at a crossroads.
Solid contributions all the way down the order, in particular Andrew's 77 off 116 balls from number eight, ensured the home side retained hope of breaking their season-long win drought.
Durham seamer Liam Plunkett bowled Andrew shortly before the close to finish with figures of 3-100.