Smith heroics in vain as Lancs lose
Lancashire suffered a nail-biting, two-wicket defeat at the hands of Durham at Southport, despite the heroics of Tom Smith.
He was the star of the day with five wickets, including four for 12 in eight overs before tea in the County Championship clash as Durham slipped from 170 for two to 195 for seven in their pursuit of 247.
But Ben Stokes and Adam Hickey all but saw Durham home with a 48-run stand inside 12 overs for the eighth wicket.
Stokes was run out for 36 off 43 balls with four runs needed before Chris Rushworth hit the winning runs off Kyle Jarvis in the 78th over of the innings.
Smith finished with five for 25 from 16 overs - his first five-wicket haul since 2014 against Durham at Emirates Old Trafford.
Mark Stoneman fell lbw playing across the line against Jarvis in the day’s first over and Smith had Scott Borthwick caught in the gully, only for Keaton Jennings to strike 82 and Jack Burnham, who added 52, to put Lancashire on the back foot with a third-wicket stand of 123 either side of lunch.
Jennings and Burnham both fell as three wickets went in 19 balls between the 55th and 58th overs as the Red Rose bounced back.
Jennings, the division’s leading run-scorer with 951, has now made seven half-centuries in 14 innings this term.
Smith had actually dropped two slip catches off Simon Kerrigan either side of lunch, but he hit back in style after Simon Kerrigan broke the partnership by trapping Burnham lbw with a quicker ball.
Smith had Jennings caught behind off a top-edged pull and Michael Richardson strangled down the leg-side before making Paul Collingwood his fourth victim when he was trapped lbw for four.
He then had Paul Coughlin brilliantly caught behind one-handed by a diving Tom Moores in his next over to ensure Lancashire ended the afternoon on a high.
Stokes was unbeaten on 15 at tea, with Durham needing 50 with three wickets in hand.
When Smith was brought out of the attack, Durham were 216 for seven needing 31 more, and Adam Hickey pulled Jarvis for six into the members.
Stokes launched Kerrigan over wide long-on twice in the next over as the target became four, and although the England all-rounder was then run out at the non-striker’s end after clipping a ball just wide of short-leg, it did not cost the visitors.
Lancashire are fourth in the division one standings, 20 points adrift of leaders Middlesex.
Durham are now second, 13 points adrift of Middlesex, but with a game in hand.