Match Report:


Lyon trumps Stokes in Ashes reunion

Just days after saying Australia would have won the Ashes 4-0 if he had not been injured, Nathan Lyon backed up his claims to dismiss Ben Stokes cheaply

Australian spin great Nathan Lyon has come out on top in his latest duel with England Test captain Ben Stokes, giving Lancashire the upper hand against Durham at Blackpool.

The pair have engaged in several compelling arm-wrestles in the Ashes through the years and another clash was the headline attraction on day two of the County Championship division one fixture on Saturday.

In his first innings in two months, Stokes made a becalmed two off 16 balls before falling to a bowler who has dismissed him nine times in Tests, playing back to a delivery which gripped and turned to take his outside edge as Tom Bruce snaffled a low catch at second slip.

Lyon finished with 4-59, his best performance yet at his new county, while Tom Aspinwall claimed 5-41 for a maiden five-wicket haul to restrict Durham to 236, buttressed by David Bedingham's 101, in response to Lancashire's 357.

Stokes did claim a wicket in his first over as Luke Wells miscued to Matthew Potts but bottom-of-the-table Lancashire closed on 2-91, with a 212-run lead as they chase a first win of the campaign.

The Australian star of the day, though, was once again Dan Worrall, who took 6-22 for Surrey, including three wickets in five balls in the same maiden over to clean up the Worcestershire tail and set the champions on the road to what looks like another victory.

Fifties from Rory Burns, Jamie Smith, Dan Lawrence and Jordan Clark then helped Surrey seize a commanding 427-run lead at The Oval.

Worrall's haul restricted Worcestershire to 128 in reply to 213 before Surrey's batters got stuck in, with the efforts of Burns (70) and Smith (72) followed up by an unbroken 108-run stand between Lawrence (86no) and Clark (69no).

Elsewhere, it was a grim day for Leicestershire's Aussie pair Marcus Harris, who made five, and Peter Handscomb, who fared little better with 11. Both batters fell to lbw dismissals.

It left Leicestershire at 5-133 in response to Gloucestershire's 6-706 declared, with Beau Webster on his county debut continuing his hot form with an unbeaten 44 from 50 balls. Cameron Bancroft had yesterday hit 160 at the top of the order as three Gloucs batters made tons in what was their highest score in their 154-year first-class history.

Webster then claimed a wicket when an airy waft by England's spin-bowling allrounder Rehan Ahmed was edged to wicketkeeper James Bracey as he leaked just 13 runs from his nine overs.

Australians in the 2024 County Championship

Durham: Ben Dwarshuis, Ashton Turner (both T20s only)

Essex: Daniel Sams (T20s only)

Glamorgan: Marnus Labuschagne

Gloucestershire: Cameron Bancroft, Beau Webster

Hampshire: Michael Neser, Ben McDermott (T20s only)

Kent: Wes Agar, Charlie Stobo, Xavier Bartlett (T20s only)

Lancashire: Nathan Lyon, Chris Green (T20s only)

Leicestershire: Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris

Northamptonshire: Chris Tremain (first four matches only)

Somerset: Matthew Renshaw

Surrey: Sean Abbott, Spencer Johnson (T20s only)

Sussex: Nathan McAndrew, Daniel Hughes