Matthew Potts claimed career-best numbers to give Durham hope of forcing victory against Leicestershire in their LV=Insurance County Championship Division Two game at the Riverside.
Potts fired an exceptional spell with the old ball to remove Hassan Azad to allow the hosts into Leicestershire’s batting order.
The 23-year-old found a life off the pitch that no other bowler could conjure up, earning figures of six for 58 and passing fifty first-class wickets in the process.
Colin Ackermann, from Leicestershire, said: “We left with the ambition to try and beat all day. Credit to Durham, they played pretty well.
“Matthew Potts fired up and played extremely well against us. It was disappointing not to beat until at least tea, but that’s to their credit.
“Hassan Azad had a brilliant run against Worcestershire last week, and hopefully he can replicate that on Sunday.
“The equation is quite simple, we have to set up our stand and our bat for as long as possible and keep all the good balls out.
“I was very surprised Durham didn’t come forward late on Saturday.”
Ackermann added: “If I were them, I would have tried to do 400 races as fast as possible and I would have tried on Saturday night.
“We expected a statement, but obviously it didn’t.
“Beuran Hendricks was hit while beating but luckily there was no fracture.
“We will do our best to save the game, if a few batters come in we have to be ruthless and not sniff them out.”
The North East side wiped out the visitors for 273 before building a commanding lead of 394 runs thanks to a class-leading first hundred from Michael Jones and a handsome 84 from Sean Dickson, who capitalized on a line of Struggling Leicestershire bowling. .
A statement will likely happen overnight, leaving the hosts needing 10 wickets on the final day to force their first win of the campaign.
Durham needed inspiration with the old ball at the start of matchday three with Azad and Colin Ackermann seemingly entrenched, and Potts responded by leaping from the Finchale End and hitting the wicket hard to clear Azad away, ending the stubborn jab from the opener after 206 deliveries for 66 and a nice partnership with Ackermann for the third wicket of 112.
Azad was hampered by Potts’ accuracy, which sparked a rattling of wickets in Leicestershire’s middle order through Durham’s setter.
Louis Kimber lasted just three balls before continuing with a loose drive before Nick Welch was pinned lbw for just two to give the home side the chance to increase the pressure with the arrival of the new ball . In a flurry of five on the old ball, Potts claimed numbers of 3-15 to open the ranks for Leicestershire.
Ackermann appeared to have thwarted the threat before Raine produced a teasing delivery that found the outside edge for 81.
The home side continued to slip away and Potts hit a career milestone with the next wicket to fall, securing his 50th first-class wicket by knocking out Ed Barnes with a Scott Borthwick-David Bedingham double act in the cord slippage.
After a break from the attack, Potts was called back into action to break up another Leicestershire position.
With his first ball in his second spell of the day, the 23-year-old pulled Harry Swindells back to take his first wicket in first-class cricket. Potts’ pace and rebound proved too much for Will Davis to handle, presenting a simple catch and knock down chance.
Liam Trevaskis wrapped up the visitors’ innings, giving Durham a 155 run lead going into the second inning.
The home side were able to capitalize on the absence of Chris Wright and Beuran Hendricks through injury as fly-half Jones and Dickson were able to accelerate into the crease to reach a centenary in 23rd place.
Dickson went fifty for the second time in the game from just 66 balls, although he was given a life after being dropped on 40 by Welch wide of Ackermann.
Dickson’s attempt to elevate the run rate cost him his wicket 16 less than a second century of play. However, Jones succeeded where his teammate fell, hitting triple figures for the first time in his career with a firm strike through the covers before being out before the close for 108.