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Onions and Rushworth destroy Derbyshire

Durham went 27.5 points clear at the top of the LV= County Championship after Graham Onions and Chris Rushworth inspired them to a stunning nine-wicket victory at Derbyshire.

For more than three days there had been little between the Division One leaders and a Derbyshire side needing victory to help their survival hopes, but Onions and Rushworth exploited encouraging swing-bowling conditions on day four as the hosts were all out for a paltry 63 in 29.1 overs.

Onions produced a spell of 5-4 in 41 balls and Rushworth claimed 3-31 to leave Durham's batsmen with a victory target of 37, which they reached in 7.5 overs for the loss of just one wicket to go clear at the top of the table following Yorkshire's draw at Sussex.

A much less uplifting outcome had seemed in prospect earlier in the day when seamer Tony Palladino's season-best 6-90 limited Durham to a meagre lead of 27 and made a draw appear virtually inevitable.

Instead, with Somerset beating Surrey, Derbyshire's hopes of staying up were all but extinguished and they certainly looked well short of elite status as they failed to produce the application and technique to resist bowling of quality and purpose.

The ball swung lavishly at times and occasionally kept low but Derbyshire contributed to their embarrassment with some woeful strokes and leaden footwork.

Usman Arshad polished off the remnants with 2-2 in 13 balls after Onions and Rushworth had swept away flimsy foundations.

Rushworth started the procession in the second over when he had Ben Slater trapped in front for a duck and the seamer also accounted for Paul Borrington.

Only skipper Wayne Madsen passed 10 before he fell for 15, leaning forward to a ball from Onions that moved away late before being pouched in the slips.

Alex Hughes was also bowled by Onions, who then had West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul pinned in front, playing all round a ball that did not get up much.

By that stage, Derbyshire had fallen to 44 for five and the the rest of the innings quickly fell to ruins.

Mark Stoneman was dismissed cheaply after reaching 1,000 first-class runs in a season for the first time but there were few other alarms as Durham reached the target with more than 37 overs to spare.

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