Veterans ensure Durham win again
Experienced duo Dale Benkenstein and Paul Collingwood helped Durham overcome a brief scare to record their fourth successive LV= County Championship victory with a six-wicket triumph over relegation-threatened Worcestershire.
Coming together on 35 for four, with their side in pursuit of 151, the veterans shared an unbroken stand of 119; Benkenstein finished unbeaten on 62 and Collingwood reached 53.
They took full advantage of Worcestershire's lack of support for Alan Richardson, who took the three wickets to fall this morning after Durham resumed on three for one.
Keaton Jennings coped comfortably with Chris Russell's big swingers, but for the second time in the match he was bowled through the gate when playing forward to a ball which did just enough off the pitch.
Following a brief delay due to rain, Ben Stokes got off the mark first ball when he turned Richardson behind square for four.
It seemed Durham were worried about further showers as Mark Stoneman took three fours off Russell in the next over; back-foot shots either side of the wicket were followed by a square drive.
Stokes then drove Richardson to the extra-cover boundary before trying to pull a ball that was too full for the shot. He fell lbw for eight and Richardson won another leg before verdict soon after when Stoneman missed with an attempted drive wide of mid-on and departed for 22.
Russell was replaced by Gareth Andrew and the batsmen were able to continue collecting boundaries, while concentrating on keeping Richardson out at the other end.
Collingwood opened his account with two drives for four off Andrew, the second one all-run after Russell had flipped the ball back an inch from the rope.
When Richardson rested with 3-25 from 12 overs it became plain sailing and 15 came off the second over of off-spin from Moeen Ali.
Durham needed just 30 more at lunch and Benkenstein completed only his second half-century of the season from 75 balls before cutting Moeen for the winning boundary.
Worcestershire picked up just three bowling points and are level at the bottom of Division One with Lancashire, while Durham now appear virtually safe in fifth.