WORCESTERSHIRE’S relegation from LV= County Championship Division One was confirmed when they went down by three wickets to Durham at the ICG Emirates.

The County set Durham a 291 target and went down fighting after resuming on 42-0.

They plundered 175 runs in the morning session from just 25 overs before declaring on 217-9 and leaving themselves 71 overs to bowl the home side out.

A fine 99 from Scott Borthwick enabled Durham to launch a strong reply but Worcestershire kept picking up wickets at regular intervals to keep themselves in the contest right to its tense conclusion.

An unbeaten half-century by Michael Richardson edged Durham home and meant that Worcestershire were relegated after just one season back in the top-flight.

Worcestershire openers Daryl Mitchell and Brett D’Oliveira extended their stand to 68 before three wickets fell for four runs.

Chris Rushworth bowled Mitchell for 21 then Graham Onions bowled D’Oliveira when one short of his maiden Championship 50 after he hit eight fours in his 56-ball knock. Joe Clarke fell for a second ball duck.

But Tom Fell hit three fours in an over from Rushworth in making a quickfire 28 and Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Ross Whiteley figured in a rapid stand of 69.

Whiteley picked up Jamie Harrison behind square for six and Kohler-Cadmore cleared the rope off Ryan Pringle before holing out at deep mid-wicket for 38.

Ben Cox scored his six runs in one blow off Scott Borthwick before falling lbw to the leg-spinner attempting a reverse sweep.

Whiteley made his 47 off just 21 balls with eight fours and a six before he drove to long-off and Pringle picked up a third wicket when Ed Barnard was lbw for 17, before the declaration at 217-9.

When Durham began their reply, Shannon Gabriel struck in his first over. The paceman trapped Jack Burnham lbw for one to claim his first wicket for the County.

Borthwick and Mark Stoneman added 75 in 20 overs before the latter on 28 was caught at cover by D’Oliveira off Jack Shantry, who caused problems for Borthwick before he reached his 50.

Paul Collingwood joined Borthwick and the pair took Durham through to 119-2 with one session remaining.

Their stand was worth 104 in 23 overs when Borthwick on 99 aimed a pull at D’Oliveira and was trapped lbw. He hit 15 fours.

Gabriel returned to the attack and forced Collingwood (47) to edge to keeper Cox at 215-4. Cox then took a fine catch to dismiss Gordon Muchall (12) off Barnard and it became 266-6 when Ryan Pringle (9) was caught by Barnard off Joe Leach.

D’Oliveira returned and had Jamie Harrison (1) lbw before Richardson saw Durham home with 4.2 overs to spare.