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May 11, 2014
Sussex 441 for 5 (Wright 183*, Brown 152*) v Durham
With England seeking a new start under Peter Moores it is the opportune time for players to push their name forward. Luke Wright was the latest to do so with a century against defending County Champions Durham as Sussex moved into a strong position at Hove.
Having missed the first few rounds of the season to be with his wife and new-born child in Australia, Wright endured a low-key return for Sussex last week against Lancashire but here gave a strong reminder of his ability after a lean winter with England.
Wright closed the day five short of his first-class best and in league with wicketkeeper Ben Brown, who went past his career-best score, set a new record for the sixth wicket for Sussex and for anyone against Durham. The pair added 326 to haul their side out of a sticky patch at 115 for 5 to close well on top.
At that stage, Durham's decision to insert Sussex looked a good one as they chase a first victory of the season. Chris Nash was the first man to go, edging Chris Rushworth behind for 10, and Michael Yardy then fell for just five when he was caught by Kumar Sangakkara off the bowling off Graham Onions.
Wickets continued to tumble - Ed Joyce bowled by Usman Arshad for 21 before opener Luke Wells gave wicketkeeper Phil Mustard a second victim. And when Matt Machan also edged behind, Sussex looked in some trouble.
But little did they know by the close of play Wright and Brown would have guided them to 441 with no further wickets lost.
Durham did have a chance to snare Brown relatively early but Mustard dropped his fellow wicketkeeper. His misery was then compounded the following ball when Brown stole a single, Mustard shied at the stumps and conceded four overthrows, allowing Brown to reach his 50 in 76 balls.
By that stage Wright had gone to his own half-century, also in 76 balls, and the hundred partnership was raised in the 58th over. Wright went on to notch up three figures with a four off Usman Arshad and five overs later Brown was also celebrating his century.
The pair survived the second new ball and played out the remainder of the day to complete a remarkable turnaround and leave Durham wondering how it all slipped away from them.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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