Sussex v Durham: Day three tea

DURHAM ground Sussex down as their domination of this County Championship match at Hove continued this afternoon.

DURHAM ground Sussex down as their domination of this County Championship match at Hove continued this afternoon.

By tea their lead was 520 - surely more than enough for them not to come back our for more after it.

Paul Collingwood and Ian Blackwell both hit half-centuries, but there was little urgency from the visiting batsmen as they marched towards a declaration.

Having hit Monty Panesar for a six over long-on, Collingwood perished attempting a repeat. Amjad Kahn held the catch on the boundary.

By then the former England limited-overs captain had reached his 50, made from 83 balls with three fours and two sixes. He added just one to it before he was caught.

Dale Benkenstein put on 68 with Blackwell for the fourth wicket, though the latter was fortunate to be dropped driving Chris Nash on one. Matt Prior was the guilty party, and England's Test wicketkeeper has had a mixed match in the unfamiliar region of the slips cordon.

He would later drop Callum Thorp when the Australian batsman tried to smash the second ball he faced into the Channel. Nash was again the unlucky bowler.

More predictably, Panesar made a hash of fielding on the third man boundary when the all-rounder had progressed to 16. He was immediately moved.

A swept four, his sixth of the innings, took Blackwell to a 57-ball 50. There was also a six, again swept off the spin of Nash over the short boundary and out of the ground. It was a shot Mitchell Claydon would repeat later.

That shot would be Benkenstein's downfall, the third Durham batsman to be out playing it to a spinner, with 33 to his name. Phil Mustard at least brought a bit of variety to procedings. When he was out playing it, he was bowled, playing on for 14.

Blackwell was eventually stumped for 61 after sauntering down the pitch to Nash and seeing the ball turn beyond the edge of his bat. His was the second of three wickets to fall for 10 runs as Durham really just wasted time that would have been better spent taking Sussex wickets.

When Scott Borthwick ran a single to the short boundary it extended Durham's lead to 500 - more than enough, even in these conditions.

Thorp completed the sequence, top-edging a hook to Wayne Parnell at fine leg for three.

In all, Durham scored 166 runs in the session against an attack which has been deprived of South African Parnell all day. Until his catch off James Anyon's bowling, all the wickets had fallen to spinners Panesar and Nash, which should encourage Durham tweakers Blackwell and Borthwick, the latter of whom claimed a career-best 5-80 with his leg-spin yesterday.

Durham have four sessions left to push through a victory which will reinvigorate their title hopes after a draw and three defeats from their previous four matches, but the sea fret whcih drew in during the last quarter of an hour of the session might mean they do not get all of that time.

They were 366-7 at tea, with Borthwick and Thorp both 17 not out.

See The Journal on Saturday for a full report of the day's play, and a preview of Sunday's CB40 semi-final at Somerset.


David Whetstone
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