Durham clinch cricket’s county title

CHAMPIONS: Durham celebrate
CHAMPIONS: Durham celebrate

DURHAM clinched their third county cricket title in six seasons as the morning rain eased to let them cruise to an eight-wickets victory over Nottinghamshire.

Opener Mark Stoneman hit the winning boundary after the heavens delayed play for more than three hours on the third day at Chester-le-Street.

Durham reached their 69 target for the loss of two innings and have clinched the LV= County Championship with a game to spare.

The win was Durham’s fifth in a row and 10th of the season – four more than when they lifted the Championship trophy for the first time in 2008 and two more than when they retained the title 12 months later.

Durham were in charge of their match since bowling out Notts for just 78 on the opening day although they were in trouble at 45-5 in their own first innings before recovering to post a total of 256.

Captain Paul Collingwood (88 not out) and Phil Mustard (77), Durham’s two most experienced players, rescued the situation with a partnership of 121 and, although Notts showed greater resolve in their second innings, a score of 246 left a target of only 69 for the home side.