Blackwell strikes takes Durham close
Sussex 218 and 119 for 4 v Durham 372 and 366 for 7 dec
The large gathering of former Sussex players at Hove on Friday would not have been impressed by the efforts of the current crop to stave off defeat by County Championship title hopefuls Durham.
The visitors batted on until tea before declaring on 366 for seven with a lead of 520, and at the close Sussex were 119 for 4. The old boys were present for a lunchtime ceremony which involved re-naming the pavilion and most of them stayed for a surreal evening session played mostly in a swirling mist.
Durham could have been made to look foolish for batting on so long, but although the umpires consulted once they decided to stay on and the last few overs were played in sunshine. Chris Nash fell lbw to Callum Thorp for four in the second over after tea.
In the fifth over Graham Onions pinned Luke Wells in front to make it 25 for two, but Ed Joyce and Murray Goodwin put on 46 with relative comfort before both surrendered to Ian Blackwell. Blackwell came on when the mist was at its worst and struck in his fourth over when he defeated Goodwin's attempted sweep to gain the third lbw verdict.
Six overs from the close Blackwell was handed a second wicket when Joyce pulled him to Scott Borthwick at deep square leg to depart for 57. Nightwatchman James Anyon kept Matt Prior company to the close, although the latter was lucky to survive an airy drive at Borthwick in the final over when on 21.
All Durham's top six, other than the injured Michael Di Venuto, earlier helped themselves to relatively easy runs. Resuming on 93 without loss, they added 107 in the morning and 166 in the afternoon. Although he was on the field throughout both sessions, South African Wayne Parnell was kept out of the Sussex attack as they looked ahead to Sunday's Clydesdale Bank 40 semi-final at The Oval.
Durham face a four-hour trip to Taunton for their semi-final and will hope to wrap things up swiftly tomorrow. Occasional off-spinner Nash got through 27 overs to take four for 103 and Monty Panesar picked up his first two wickets of the match.
Opener Will Smith, on 54 overnight, went on to complete his third century of the season off 192 balls. As soon as he reached his hundred he looked to accelerate and in trying to paddle Panesar to fine leg he fell lbw.
Paul Collingwood drove Panesar for a big six over long-on, but in going for a repeat he fell slightly short and was caught by Amjad Khan for 51. Blackwell made 61 off 68 balls before he was stumped by Ben Brown off the bowling of Nash.