County Championship: Durham captain Cameron Bancroft earns draw with Lancs

Durham captain Cameron Bancroft
Cameron Bancroft passed 500 Championship runs for the season during his innings on day four at Sedbergh School
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Sedbergh School (day four):
Lancashire 337: Vilas 77, Rimmington 4-74 & 247: Vilas 85; Rimmington 4-42
Durham 281: Bancroft 77, Onions 5-93 & 194-6: Bancroft 92*; Mahmood 3-58
Lancashire (11 pts) drew with Durham (9 pts)

Cameron Bancroft scored an unbeaten 92 to help Durham to a Division Two draw with promotion-chasing Lancashire.

Lancashire captain Dane Vilas once again top-scored for his side with 85 in their second-innings total of 247.

That left Durham 304 to win off a minimum of 79 overs and they started poorly as Saqib Mahmood (3-58) struck in successive overs to leave them 11-2.

But skipper Bancroft's knock, adding to his first-innings 77, steered the visitors to 194-6 at the close.

Fellow Australian Nathan Rimmington had earlier taken 4-42 to end up with career-best match figures of 8-116.

Lancashire's England seamer James Anderson, who went off injured with tightness in his calf on day three, came in to bat with a runner.

But he did not bowl for the hosts, who also had spinner Liam Livingstone missing from their attack.

Lancs captain Dane Vilas told BBC Radio Lancashire:

"It's been a very tough but very good four days. We knew it would be a long, hard slog with Durham playing good cricket and coming off a win last week. But I was really proud with how the boys stuck at it especially with the two injuries we've had to two key bowlers who have performed so well for us.

"We wanted to take it out of their reach and then have a good crack at them but we knew it would be difficult with Jimmy out and it would have been nice to have Livvy because it would have turned a bit.

"Graham Onions has been so good for us this season and seeing the effort he put in was impressive to see. Guys like Josh Bohannon stepped up to the plate and made my job easier because they were keen to bowl. We want a strong squad because we know we're not going to have Jimmy forever with the Ashes coming up. Someone has to try and fill his shoes.

"Sedbergh has been absolutely fantastic. We've had six days here with two practice days. We took a walk up the hill to see the whole town. We've had a really good time. They have put on a great show here and I'm looking forward to coming back."

Sedbergh School was the 13th first-class venue used by Lancashire in their history
Sedbergh School was the 13th first-class venue used by Lancashire in their history

Durham skipper Cameron Bancroft told BBC Radio Newcastle:

"At the start of the innings, we were hoping to bat as long as we could to try and have a crack at winning the game. But the wicket deteriorated a lot and it became difficult.

"So we did well to battle on and get a draw. In the context of our season, that was far more important than me getting 100. I had to do my job and the draw was important.

"It was potentially a questionable decision to bowl on the first day, but when you don't know a cricket ground you have to take a gamble.

"Nathan Rimmington was outstanding with the ball. On a challenging wicket he put the ball in the right areas. He deserved every one of those wickets. He will be a big part in us moving forward."


BBC Newcastle's Martin Emmerson

It was an honour to cover a game in such beautiful surroundings and Lancashire and Durham didn't let the setting or the occasion down.

The game ebbed and flowed. Durham knew it would be tough to chase the 304 they were set. But having lost Alex Lees and Gareth Harte for ducks in the early exchanges it became a battle for survival.

It would have been nice to see Cameron Bancroft get his second century in a week, but he put the team first and was happy to shake hands on a draw with four overs left and him on 92. After batting out the final 22 overs with Ben Raine, he faced 191 balls.

Bancroft is now delivering the runs we knew he could after a slow start. That's 332 in his last four innings and he was the top scorer in this game.

While there are still plenty of issues to sort in the Durham batting, they are now four games unbeaten and hopefully heading in the right direction after their worst start to a season.

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