Durham 184 (Clark 64, Griffiths 4-34) and 403 (Markram 94, Steel 86, Smith 74, Griffiths 6-49) beat Leicestershire 440 (Cosgrove 75, Horton 75, Carberry 73, Dexter 70*) and 101 (Weighell 7-32)
James Weighell produced a stunning match-winning spell of 7 for 32 to inspire Durham to a 46-run win over Leicestershire in their Specsavers County Championship contest, triumphing for the first time after following on.
Weighell was the star with both bat and ball as he made a valuable 38 runs after the home side collapsed from a strong position after lunch following a brilliant spell of bowling from Gavin Griffiths. Durham set the visitors a target of 148 runs to win, although Chris Rushworth made early inroads, taking three wickets to send the nerves jangling.
Rushworth was forced off with an injury, but Weighell took centre stage as he tore through Leicestershire’s batting line-up, claiming career-best figures.
The home side made a solid start to the day as Will Smith notched his fifty in the second over with two boundaries off Ben Raine. Smith combined with Cameron Steel for a century partnership as the opener continued his solid work from day three. However, Steel was prevented from reaching three figures, falling for 86 lbw to Raine. Graham Clark looked comfortable, building on his performance in the first innings, although he was dismissed just before lunch for 25.
Durham were in a decent position with a lead of 67 when the afternoon session began. Griffiths emergence in the attack would swing the game in the visitors’ favour, producing a brilliant spell to rip through the hosts middle order. Smith was the first to go for 74 as he played a loose drive. Neil Dexter parried the first attempt of a catch into the air, but was able to acrobatically snag it second time around.
Michael Richardson and Paul Collingwood followed in a similar fashion, playing poor strokes to leave their side in peril. Griffiths was striding in with menace and removed Stuart Poynter and Nathan Rimmington in successive deliveries. The 24-year-old was denied a hat-trick, but his six-over run produced figures of 5 for 12, his first five-wicket haul in first-class cricket.
Durham were reeling at 345 for 8 with a lead of 89, but Weighell led late resistance to take their advantage to 147 before he became Griffiths’ final victim and his 10th scalp of the match.
The visitors were under pressure from the off in their chase as Rushworth removed Paul Horton for 9 along with Colin Ackermann lbw for 5. Mark Cosgrove played a poor shot to leave his side in trouble, with Weighell claiming the wicket. Rushworth continued his dominating spell pinning Lewis Hill in front lbw for five.
Then Rushworth was forced to leave the field with what appeared to be a groin injury, but Weighell kept up the intensity with the key scalp of Michael Carberry for 22. Ned Eckersley, who suffered an injury during Durham’s innings and was unable to keep wicket, made 15 before being caught down the leg side off Weighell.
Neil Dexter appeared able to guide Leicestershire home, but he was removed by a beauty from Weighell which clean bowled him. The seamer was brimming with confidence and wrapped up the tail, claiming the final two wickets in successive deliveries, securing a remarkable comeback for the hosts.