DURHAM'S woes deepened when, after a morning's rain, Northants took advantage of the no-toss option and reduced them to 117 for six at tea.

As well as heavy cloud, there was a greenish tinge in the pitch when play began at 1.10 and after an opening stand of 30 Durham lost wickets at regular intervals.

Four fell to edges catches, the other two were lbw as the quartet of Northants seamers were rewarded for their accuracy.

Nathan Buck took three to take his division two tally to 24, and there was one each for Ben Sanderson, Rory Kleinveldt and Azharullah.

Michael Richardson, returning after a thigh injury to reduce Durham's casualty list to six, was unbeaten with the top score of 25.