Steve Harmison concerns for Durham

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DURHAM face an anxious wait to hear if pace ace Steve Harmison will be fit to face Lancashire in the top-of-the-table County Championship clash at the Emirates ICG tomorrow.

The Ashington Express was hampered by a back strain during the four-day clash away to Warwickshire, which ended in a victory for the visitors yesterday.

Harmison, who missed the final session on the third day because of his injury, dismissed Rikki Clarke for 46 in a five-over spell before lunch.

However, he sat out the rest of the day’s play and must be a massive doubt for the visit of league leaders Lancashire.

Head coach Geoff Cook will give the attack bowler every possible chance of making tomorrow’s encounter.

He said: “We will see what Steve is like today and take things from there.

“Hopefully, he will be fit, because when he is fit and firing he is a threat and a very potent wicket-taker.

“We also hope to have Graham Onions fit for tomorrow’s game, which would be a real boost.

“We have had a good couple of weeks and picked up some good results and now we have to try to keep that going.”

Durham go into tomorrow’s clash buoyed by yesterday’s four-day victory over Warwickshire and just three points behind Lancashire.

Cook was delighted with his side’s success down at Edgbaston, with Durham winning by an innings and 103 runs, despite some dogged resistance from the hosts.

He said: “Because of Steve’s injury the three seam bowlers had to work very hard.

“We were very frustrated that we didn’t get much cricket in on day three because of the weather, but we have worked very hard and come away with another good result.”

Warwickshire’s resistance was due largely to No8 Keith Barker, who only came into the match on the third day, taking over from William Porterfield when Ireland’s captain was released to prepare for two one-day internationals against Pakistan.

Barker weighed in with a maiden century, as the home side tried to hold out for the draw.

He made 101 from 156 balls and put on 117 with Naqaash Tahir, who was last out after digging in for nearly four hours for a career-best 53.

After batting only once in beating Worcestershire at New Road last week, Durham repeated the feat down in the midlands.

Having declared for 602-6 on day two, Cook’s men then demolished the hosts, forcing them to follow on after bowling them all out for 186.

Warwickshire showed far more resilience in their second innings, coming within 54 balls of securing the draw.

But Ruel Braithwaite (3-62) picked up the last two wickets to bowl the home side out for 313 and secure the win.