Dramatic finish at Lord's
Two hours of rain when Durham looked on course for victory against Middlesex at Lord's led to an unexpectedly dramatic finish.
After initially being thwarted by a ninth-wicket stand of 82 between John Simpson and Tim Murtagh, Durham needed 130 to win off 45 overs, but had reached eight without loss when the rain arrived.
On the resumption in bright sunshine at 5.15pm the target was 122 off 16.2 overs, but they slipped to 75 for six and it was suddenly Middlesex who scented victory.
Steven Finn thought he had a five-wicket haul when Scott Borthwick edged to Andrew Strauss at first slip, but it was a no-ball and Borthwick survived the final four overs with skipper Phil Mustard as Durham closed on 82 for six.
The only time they had the necessary momentum was when Mustard and Michael Di Venuto put on 33 in 3.5 overs for the fourth wicket.
Will Smith, Paul Collingwood and Ben Stokes all went cheaply and the target was 99 off 11 overs when Mustard went in. He was unbeaten on 25 at the close.
When Graham Onions completed a 10-wicket match haul with two in the first four balls after lunch Middlesex were 91 for eight, only 41 ahead.
But Murtagh cut and carved seven fours in contributing 45 off 50 balls to his stand with wicketkeeper Simpson before Middlesex were all out for 179, Simpson making 47.
With Middlesex on 21 for one overnight, Durham began by striking in the first over for the third successive day.
Onions had Sam Robson caught at second slip by Di Venuto and there were two wickets for Ben Stokes and one each for Mitch Claydon and Callum Thorp in reducing the hosts to 75 for six.
Skipper Chris Rogers looked the most likely to defy Durham but he departed to the second ball after lunch for 36 when a fast, straight one from Onions pinned him lbw.
Two balls later Gareth Berg gave Di Venuto his fifth catch of the match and at that point Onions had four for nine.
But he suddenly began to leak runs as Murtagh carved him over point and he was given only three more overs.
Claydon was fortunate to snare Murtagh with a leg-side ball which the left-hander gloved to Mustard, giving the wicketkeeper his fourth catch of the day.
Durham were left to reflect that had they taken the last two wickets quickly they would have been home and dry before the rain arrived.
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