Durham bowler Harrison saves the day with bat

Jamie Harrison hits out against Warwickshire
Jamie Harrison hits out against Warwickshire

Jamie Harrison might be in the Durham side because of his ability to swing the ball, but it was his ability to swing the willow that kept Durham’s hopes of beating Warwickshire alive after day three.

The Riversiders were able to set a target of 265 thanks largely to the 24-year-old’s second first-class fifty which rescued Durham from 55-7 to 148.

It’s always nice to contribute especially when there is a bit of pressure.

Under overcast skies and favourable bowling conditions, eight wickets fell for just 65 runs before lunch, but gradually improved as the visitors valiantly fought their way to 125-3 at stumps.

“It’s always nice to contribute especially when there is a bit of pressure,” said Harrison.

“The game is in the balance. If we come out and do what we did this morning and take three wickets, then we will be singing our song tomorrow evening.”

The day couldn’t have got off to a better for the hosts as they cleaned up the tail inside the first hour and managed to pick up a handy lead of 116.

Jeetan Patel edged to Paul Collingwood off Graham Onions first ball of the day and Chris Woakes followed in the next over to give Rushworth his fifth five-fer of the season.

Oliver Hannon-Dalby was trapped on the pads by Harrison, with the visitors just two runs shy of a batting point.

But none of Durham’s top four made it to double digits as Woakes ran riot on his Championship return picking up three crucial wickets.

Both openers fell in successive overs before Paul Collingwood, who was handed three penalty points for his dissent to umpire David Millns following his first innings lbw, risked

further punishment as stood his ground after being given lbw by Graham Lloyd.

Three soon became four as Scott Borthwick got his first duck of the season and at 9-4, Durham’s hopes of a win seemed as bleak as the weather but Michael Richardson was determined to counter-attack.

His 21 included a six off Woakes, but was an all-too brief cameo as his adventure got the better off him as he edged one to Laurie Evans.

Gordon Muchall and John Hastings fell in quick succession after lunch and Durham were 55-7 when Harrison joined Ryan Pringle.

The pair batted sensibly to put on 40 runs for the eighth wicket before Pringle nicked behind off Milnes with the score at 95.

Chris Rushworth and Harrison got the lead beyond 250, but were both out to Jeetan Patel in the space of 10 balls the stroke of tea.

Warwickshire’s openers started positively and were going at a brisk pace, before skipper Varun Chopra strangled one off Onions.

Jonathon Webb was bowled by Rushworth for a pair, but Ian Westwood and Laurie Evans steadied the ship.

Westwood fell 14 short of his fifty, but Evans got his in 64 balls and managed to see it through till stumps along with Sam Hain to set up an intriguing final day in which they need 140 runs to win.