Wells pulls Sussex out of trouble
Sussex 211 and 112 for 5 (Wells 51*) lead Durham 227 by 96 runs
An unbeaten half-century by Luke Wells kept Sussex afloat as they reached 112 for 5, a lead of 96, in their second innings against Durham at Chester-le-Street. On the ground where he scored his maiden century early last season, Wells dug in doggedly and finally found support from wicketkeeper Ben Brown.
After going in at 67 for 5 in the first innings, when he made an unbeaten 76, Brown arrived at 69 for 5 second time around. Although he contributed only 12 to the unbroken stand of 43, he again looked comfortable.
Following the fall of 16 wickets on the first day, Durham's seventh-wicket pair Phil Mustard and Scott Borthwick extended their stand to 83 in the morning. They survived until 20 minutes before lunch, but then three wickets went down for one run and after an hour was lost to rain Durham were all out for 227.
Mustard took a few risks and survived a few scary moments against Monty Panesar, who was out of luck after starting the day with figures of 2 for 4 in five overs. Mustard sped to 40 but then added only five in 12 overs before falling lbw when propping forward to the fifth ball of Sussex's acting captain Chris Nash.
In the next over, the first of the day for seamer Kirk Wernars, Borthwick departed for 35 when he chipped the second ball to short midwicket, where Mike Yardy stuck out his left hand to hold the catch.
Lunch was delayed with nine wickets down but both Graham Onions and Chris Rushworth were dropped and cashed in with a flurry of runs. They had put on 24 when rain arrived. Durham failed to add to their total on the resumption as Onions went down the pitch to Panesar and was bowled.
Having fallen to Rushworth's first ball in the first innings, Nash was lbw to the third this time. Needing 16 for his 1,000 runs, he was out for a duck. Mike Yardy made 29 in a second wicket stand of 40 before he walked into a swinger in Callum Thorp's first over and was lbw.
Thorp later pinned Wernars with a yorker, while Ben Stokes worked up a lively pace to remove Joe Gatting and Matt Machan. But Wells reached 50 off 96 balls by slicing his eighth four through gully, where he scored a lot of his runs, and was unbeaten on 51 at the close.