Durham overcome Horton resistance
Second-placed Durham restricted LV= County Championship Division One leaders Lancashire to 313 all out at stumps on day one at the Emirates Durham ICG.
Opener Paul Horton top-scored with 94 and there were also valuable forties from Luke Procter and Glen Chapple, numbers eight and nine respectively. Left-arm spinner Ian Blackwell was the pick of Durham’s bowlers with 3-57 from 22.3 overs.
Durham continued to be frustrated in their hopes of reuniting Graham Onions with Steve Harmison, who was ruled out by the back injury he suffered at Edgbaston last week.
After the hosts chose to bowl on a pitch tinged with green in front of England selector James Whitaker, Stephen Moore fell to the 12th ball of the day when he was surprised by the bounce from Callum Thorp and edged to Scott Borthwick third slip.
Then Karl Brown shaped to drive Onions and edged to Michael Di Venuto at second slip, leaving the visitors nine for two.
Lancashire would have been in dire trouble had Horton's edge on one offered more than a very slight chance to Gordon Muchall at first slip.
However, Horton and Mark Chilton produced a patient fifty partnership that finished on 77 when Di Venuto held a simple catch off Dale Benkenstein to end Chilton's 23-over vigil for 12.
Horton went on to strike 15 fours in a 176-ball innings. There were too many short deliveries he could either hit to the boundary or leave alone, but when he was fourth out with the total on 158 the innings seemed to be falling away.
Ben Stokes made the breakthrough after being hit for three fours in an over by Horton, nipping one back to hit the right-hander’s off stump.
Croft became Blackwell's first victim, for 38, courtesy of Di Venuto’s brilliant catch at the second attempt. His second was Gareth Cross, who advanced down the pitch and was beaten by the turn on 15.
Leg-spinner Borthwick trapped left-hander Tom Smith, aiming for midwicket off the back foot, lbw for 32.
Borthwick had Chapple in trouble early in his innings, but when the new ball was taken the Lancashire captain drove Thorp for a straight six and continued to plunder the bowling in partnership with the more restrained Procter.
Onions bore the brunt but when Mitchell Claydon replaced him just two more were added before the last three wickets went down for one.
Chapple top-edged a cut to third man to fall for 46 and Procter, his partner in a stand of 87, edged to wicketkeeper Phil Mustard on 45.
Finally, left-hander Kyle Hogg shouldered arms to Blackwell and was bowled.