Rain comes to Durham's aid

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James Anderson

James Anderson picked up a second wicket today as Durham reached 96 for five in reply to 344 when rain ended play

Superb bowling by James Anderson and Glen Chapple put Lancashire in a strong position at the Emirates Durham ICG, only for rain to restrict play to 21 overs on the third day.

After resuming on 27 for one, Durham struggled to 96 for five and still need 99 more to avoid the follow-on on the final day.

A murky morning began with Paul Collingwood having to start his innings by facing five balls of an unfinished over from Anderson and he got off the mark by edging the fifth for four.

When he cut his England colleague to the boundary in his next over the bowler responded with two bouncers, one of which flew high over the wicketkeeper for four byes.

Collingwood then needed treatment after being struck on the wrist and after a back-foot punch to the cover boundary off Chapple, the Lancashire captain removed him for 12.

The ball bounced steeply and moved away to take the edge on the way to second slip, where Tom Smith held a chest-high catch.

In the next over another excellent ball from Anderson had Michael Di Venuto caught behind, also for 12.

As the drizzle started to close in, Chapple knocked out Ian Blackwell’s off stump and shortly afterwards came the first break for rain with the score on 58 for four.

Durham added 38 runs in 11.4 overs in the afternoon for the loss of Dale Benkenstein before the rain returned.

Benkenstein edged Anderson for two fours then steered him wide of the slips for another boundary, while Ben Stokes edged the England bowler at catchable height through the vacant fourth slip position.

Stokes generally looked secure, however, as Anderson and Chapple bowled unchanged for 29 overs until the captain made way for Tom Smith, who struck in his second over.

Generally shaping the ball away, he got one to skid on to pin Benkenstein lbw for 21.

Phil Mustard drove Smith through mid-on for four and added three more before rain ended play at 2.30pm with Stokes unbeaten on 13.

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