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Sussex forced to settle for a draw with Durham

Delray Rawlins

Sussex had to settle for a draw after Durham piled on the runs on day four to avoid defeat in their LV=Insurance County Championship match which ended at Hove yesterday.

Sussex were well positioned at the end of day two, leading on first innings by 139 runs with five wickets in hand. Even more so when they reached 538 on day three for a first innings lead of 315.

However, Durham had an improved second innings, posting 364 for three to kill off Sussex’s hopes of a first victory as the match ended in a tame draw yesterday. Durham were leading by 49 runs at stumps as Sussex collected 15 points for the draw and Durham 10.

That Durham were able to salvage a draw came down to an opening stand of 313 between Sean Dickson and Alex Lees in their second innings, the fourth highest in Durham’s history. That took the fight out of Sussex late on the final session of the fourth day as a draw looked the more obvious outcome.

Dickson made 186 ― his best score for Durham ― and Lees 105 before both fell in the same over from leg-spinner Mason Crane. By then Durham were just two runs in arrears and when the match was called at 4.50pm, Durham had reached 364 for three.

It was a magnificent effort by Dickson and Lees, the opening stand being the county’s highest for any wicket against Sussex. Spinner Delray Rawlins got the only other Durham wicket to fall yesterday, when captain Scott Borthwick was caught off his bowling after scoring twelve.

Rawlins, the fifth Sussex bowler used, finished with one for 50 from 20 overs. Crane claimed two for 110 from 33 overs as Durham batted for 113 overs to save the match, with Sussex using nine bowlers.

Lees was first out, hitting a full toss from Crane straight to deep mid-wicket on the first ball of the over. Crane struck again on the final delivery of the same over when wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan held an edged chance from Dickson. His 186 included a six and 20 fours.

Keegan Petersen and Scott Borthwick erased the deficit that would make Sussex bat again but persistent drizzle forced the teams off shortly before 3pm.

They came back out an hour later when Rawlins picked up his wicket, a fine catch by Rizwan at slip after he had handed over the wicketkeeping duties to Ali Orr and bowling a couple of overs of medium pace himself as the match petered out to a draw.

In the Sussex innings of 538, Cheteshwar Pujara reached his second double century since joining the club, giving the hosts an excellent chance of securing their first win when stumps were drawn on day three.

Sussex’s overseas stars Pujara and Rizwan put on 154 for the sixth wicket, with Pujara scoring 203, his second double century in three matches, while Rizwan supported with a knock of 79 on his home debut as Sussex amassed 538.

Durham fought their way back into the game after lunch on the third day when Sussex lost five wickets for 34 runs in just nine overs as left-arm spinner Liam Trevaskis followed up his knock of 88 with bowling figures of five for 128.

Sussex still had a huge first innings lead, but the Durham openers battled back in the final session to give their side hope of avoiding defeat.

The final day started with Sussex on 362 for five, with Tom Clark scoring 50 and Rawlins, batting at No 8, going for just 12 after getting off the mark with a slogged six over mid-wicket before being bowled when attempting a pull shot.

Two overs later Pujara was stumped after facing 334 balls and hitting 24 fours.

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Published May 02, 2022 at 7:53 am (Updated May 02, 2022 at 7:53 am)

Sussex forced to settle for a draw with Durham

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