|Ground:||Old Trafford, Manchester|
|Scorecard:||Lancashire v Durham|
|Event:||LV County Championship 2010|
Rain wiped out almost half of the first days play at Old Trafford, where poor fielding by Durham cost them the chance of establishing a considerable advantage over the home team. Although, unusually, Shiv Chanderpaul failed to make his old county pay for dropping him early on, Mark Chilton responded superbly after his escape, and his unbeaten 66, his best of the season, was the highlight of the day, despite Durhams good bowling. Without him Lancashire might well have been in dire straits.
Lancashire won the toss and decided to bat under overcast skies. A light drizzle delayed the start by 25 minutes. Mitch Claydon, replacing the unfit Callum Thorp, bowled the second over and struck with his fifth ball, a good delivery that moved away from Tom Smith and had him caught at the wicket without a run on the board. Chilton replaced him and turned the next delivery past square leg for four; these were still the only runs on the board when the rain returned, more heavily.
Play did not resume until twenty minutes to two, when the bowlers found a bit of life in the pitch. Harmison, though not at his fastest, tested Horton in particular with some sharp lifters, but the opener fell to Claydon at the other end, a thick edge resulting in a catch at cover. He made 9, and Lancashire were 17 for two in the tenth over, making run-getting look like hard work. It could have been worse, as a few balls later Chilton edged a ball from Harmison low to second slip, but the chance went down. In the following over Chanderpaul had not yet scored when he edged a ball from Claydon low to first slip and that also went down.
Chilton and Chanderpaul knuckled down, though, to survive the rough ride, and this they did, though not always comfortably. Chanderpaul, despite scoring more than 100 runs in his two previous matches for Lancashire this season, never did look comfortable, and struggled to score 10 runs off 46 balls before Ian Blackwell pushed him back and excitedly trapped him lbw. Chilton, more fluent and playing some expressive strokes, had 36 by this stage, so Lancashire were 59 for three. Another 20 runs were added before the rain returned, just before tea, by which time Chilton had reached 41.
It appeared play was over for the day, as there was a heavy fall, but it was brief and the sun made even a guest appearance at times. Play restarted at 5.30. Chilton and Steven Croft responded positively to some accurate bowling, and Chilton drove Blackwell straight for four and then cut him for three next ball to reach a creditable fifty off 86 balls. In the same over, however, Croft (17) drove rather wildly outside the off stump without moving his feet and edged a sharp catch which, on this occasion, was held at slip; 95 for four, and the bowler was getting a fair amount of turn on the first day.
Gareth Cross batted steadily to see out the day with Chilton and, as far as can be judged when the pitch is giving the bowlers some help, the day finished with the teams fairly evenly balanced. Durham, however, will be regretting their dropped catches there were also a few misfields as all their four main bowlers did a sound job of work and deserved better support in the field.
(Article: Copyright © 2010 Cricket Scotland http://www.cricketeurope.org/SCOTLAND/home.shtml)