Horton ton inspires Lancashire
Paul Horton's 114 and Ashwell Prince's unbeaten half-century helped Lancashire make a spirited response to Durham's 340 on the second day of the LV= County Championship Division One clash.
Opener Horton underpinned Lancashire's charge at Emirates Old Trafford with a superb century that included 13 fours in his 217-ball stay.
By close of play the Red Rose side had reached 256 for five with Prince 58 not out off 101 balls, but home hopes of forcing a win seem to rest on the South African and Lancashire's later batsmen building a substantial first-innings lead on the third day.
Yet the first session could scarcely have gone better for Lancashire. Glen Chapple's bowlers took the last two Durham wickets in the first 10 minutes of play and then openers Horton and Luis Reece guided the home side safely to 78 for nought at the interval.
The morning included another success for Tom Smith, who became the leading wicket-taker in Division One with 53 victims when he had last man Chris Rushworth caught at cover by Usman Khawaja for five.
Seven balls previously Ben Stokes had hoisted Simon Kerrigan to long-on where Prince pouched the catch.
The Lancashire openers were cautious at first but Horton reached his fourth fifty of the season off 87 balls while Reece readjusted to first-team cricket in his first appearance since the Roses match in May.
Durham's attack received little encouragement and John Hastings was warned by umpire Russell Evans for running on the pitch.
For over an hour in the afternoon session Horton and Reece batted securely against an attack which lacked off-spinner Ryan Buckley, who was off the field with an unspecified illnness.
The pair had put on 138, a first-wicket record for their county against Durham, when Reece departed for 36 when he pushed forward to Scott Borthwick and was caught by Paul Collingwood at first slip.
Next over Usman Khawaja gave a return catch to the Durham leg-spinner but Prince and Horton shepherded their side to the comparative safety of 165 for two at tea, by which time Horton had reached his second century of the season off 166 balls.
Five overs after the restart Horton was perhaps a shade unfortunate to fall lbw to Rushworth when the ball nipped back off the seam and caught the opener on the back foot.
Steven Croft then lasted barely half an hour and had scored just six when he was bowled playing no shot to a ball from Hastings which came back a little off the seam.
Alex Davies seemed likely to see out the rest of the day with Prince but Lancashire's wicketkeeper-batsman fell to the new ball a few minutes before the close when he gloved a steeply bouncing Ben Stokes delivery to Calum MacLeod in the gully and trooped dejectedly off with 25 to his name.
Borthwick was the hardest-worked Durham bowler and also the most successful, the leg-spinner finishing the day with two for 93 off 36 overs.