Stumps Durham 292 (Muchall 74, Panesar 4-88) and 166 for 5 v Sussex 194 (Hodd 67)

An onslaught by Ian Blackwell lifted the pressure off Durham and put them firmly in command at the end of the second day of the County Championship Division One match against Sussex at Chester-le-Street.

Despite a first-innings lead of 98, Durham were rocking on 79 for 4 and the visitors must have scented further success as Blackwell initially looked all at sea.

He survived a chance to slip off James Anyon on four and a return chance to Monty Panesar on five and then hit Panesar just over the fielder at long-on, who was 10 yards in from the rope.

But that blow opened the floodgates and three sixes followed, two of them fiercely pulled in one Anyon over, as Blackwell reached 50 off 44 balls.

He holed out off Anyon at deep square leg for 51, leaving Dale Benkenstein and Michael Richardson to take Durham to 166 for 5 at the close, leading by 264.

On a day when 14 wickets fell there was some variable bounce and the ball swung in the haze. But there was little hint of trouble for the batsmen in the first hour.

Sussex resumed on 31 for 1 and the tentative Luke Wells departed for 10 when he edged Callum Thorp to first slip, but Chris Nash and Joe Gatting played well to take the score to 108 for 2.

Then three wickets went down on the same score. Ruel Brathwaite struck in his second over, when a hint of away movement had Nash lbw for 65. Although Thorp had bowled for over an hour, he switched ends after a short rest and took two wickets in his first four balls.

Gatting was lbw for 27 and Ben Brown edged to third slip, then acting captain Murray Goodwin departed in the last over before lunch, popping up a catch to short leg off Blackwell's second ball of the day.

Sussex were 119 for 6 and got to 198 only because of Andrew Hodd's excellent innings of 67. He had to bat with a flimsy tail and was last out when he lifted Blackwell to mid-off.

Durham struggled to build on their lead against some fiery bowling from Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Amjad Khan.

Rana steamed in for 11 overs in a superb opening burst but his only reward came from perhaps the worst ball he bowled. Gordon Muchall had a dab at it and edged to Hodd.

Michael Di Venuto lasted only until the ninth ball of the innings, clipping Khan to midwicket, while Anyon struck in his first over for the second time in the match, having Will Smith caught behind.

Ben Stokes played several fine strokes in reaching 26 but then fell lbw to a ball from Panesar which kept very low. That brought in Blackwell and by the time he departed Durham's jitters had vanished.