Durham grateful for Daley's vigil against promotion hopefuls Sussex
Second division leaders Sussex strengthened their promotion challenge by reducing Durham to 254-9 on the first day at Hove.
Although there was some early movement to assist the seamers, a green-tinged pitch was good for batting.
But if it hadn't been for Jimmy Daley's unbeaten 89 Durham would have been bowled out cheaply.
Daley came in after James Kirtley had removed openers Gary Pratt and Jon Lewis in successive overs and batted for five and three-quarter hours.
He put on 76 in 29 overs with Martin Love and then, after Durham had slumped from 99-2 to 112-5 in seven overs in mid-afternoon, effected another recovery with Andrew Pratt with whom he put on 57 in 24 overs.
Kirtley took four wickets, returning after lunch to bowl former Sussex all-rounder Danny Law as Durham's middle order subsided alarmingly.
Love had made 45 when he was caught at square leg off a top edge trying to pull Jason Lewry and Nicky Peng suffered a second ball duck after edging Mark Robinson to slip.
Off-spinner Mark Davis ended Pratt's resistance after tea when he had him lbw offering no shot and Sussex skipper Chris Adams, who took 4-28 at the Riverside last month, then got in on the act with wickets in successive overs.
Graeme Bridge was caught and bowled off a full-blooded drive and James Brinkley wafted a tame catch down the leg side.
Kirtley returned to the attack late on to have Steve Harmison caught behind, but Nicky Hatch kept Daley company until the close.