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Precipitation halts Sussex progress

Durham CCC

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Sussex took control of their LV= County Championship Division One clash with Durham before rain forced an early close at Arundel.

The bottom-of-the-table visitors were reduced to 92 for four - a score that represented a minor recovery after they had slipped to one for two in the third over.

James Anyon did the early damage as Durham, yet to win a championship encounter this season, were asked to bat in overcast conditions.

Mark Stoneman struck a half-century in a solid riposte, but fell to Monty Panesar as Paul Collingwood’s side struggled prior to rain intervening.

James Anyon

James Anyon starred before the rain halted proceedings at Arundel, claiming two early wickets to leave struggling Durham in trouble

New captain Collingwood had recovered from a broken hand to lead the side - though his luck did not hold as Durham lost a crucial toss.

In his second over, Anyon made the breakthrough when Will Smith fenced outside off stump and Michael Yardy dived to his left at second slip to take an excellent catch.

Gordon Muchall lost his off stump to the next delivery, driving airily, but Ben Stokes managed to avert the hat-trick.

The left-hander was soon timing the ball sweetly and had hit four boundaries in his 20 when Steve Magoffin was rewarded for an excellent new-ball spell with a wicket in his seventh over.

The Australian tempted Stokes with extra width and his full-blooded drive was intercepted by Yardy in the slips.

Yet Stoneman, who made a century in the equivalent fixture last season, and the experienced Dale Benkenstein staged a decent recovery with a stand of 50 in 13 overs.

Stoneman timed the ball crisply, accelerating to his second half-century of the season with a flurry of seven boundaries in 20 balls when Luke Wright and Kirk Wernars, who was making his first championship appearance this term, came into the attack.

But shortly after reaching the milestone, the opener - who had taken two boundaries off Panesar’s first over - missed an attempted pull at the left-arm spinner and was trapped in front.

There was just enough time for Collingwood to get off the mark with a boundary through the covers when rain forced the players off five minutes before lunch with 27.4 overs bowled.

Umpires Nigel Llong and Neil Mallender made three afternoon inspections in the hope of a resumption but further rain forced them to abandon the day’s play shortly after 4pm.

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