County round-up: Wells digs deep to edge Sussex home

The unpredictable start to the County Championship season continued with promoted Sussex surviving a tense finish to win in Durham, who had to count the cost of dropped catches.

Beaten by an innings by Lancashire in their opening match, Sussex scraped home by a jittery two wickets on the back of a maiden century by 20-year-old Luke Wells, who rode his luck after being put down before he had added to his overnight 74.

Substitute fielder Gareth Breese, on the field after Michael di Venuto had suffered back spasms, was the guilty party, spilling a chance at second slip off Mitch Claydon's bowling.

The escape enabled Wells and Ben Brown to extend their fifth-wicket stand to 128 as Sussex closed to within 32 runs of victory, although last year's Second Division champions threatened to wilt under a fierce attack from Durham's West Indian-born pace bowler Ruel Brathwaite before crossing the line.

The England-qualified bowler, given his chance in a Durham line-up missing their four first-choice quicks, reduced Sussex from 277 for 4 to 294 for 8 to give him five wickets in the innings.

He would have had a sixth if Scott Borthwick had held a difficult chance at third slip with 15 runs still needed. Instead, Amjad Khan's edge went for four and Sussex hung on to complete a notable comeback, having been 98 behind on first innings and seemingly out of contention when Durham began the third day 265 runs in front with five wickets in hand.

Largely due to the combined efforts of Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Monty Panesar, Durham lost their last seven second-innings wickets for 70, leaving Sussex their target of 309 to win.

Middlesex made it two wins from two matches to lead the early Division Two table after chasing down a stiff target of 328 to beat Derbyshire by three wickets at Derby, Gareth Berg and Ollie Rayner carrying them to victory.

Derbyshire looked favourites when Middlesex slipped from 145 for 2 overnight to 197 for 6, but Berg and Rayner put on 97 for the seventh wicket in 24 overs.

Berg, who also picked up six wickets in the match, made 80 from 115 balls before Tony Palladino, who was unlucky to end up on the losing side, made him his ninth victim of the contest, while Rayner finished unbeaten on 58.

A third-wicket partnership of 129 between Gareth Rees and Mike Powell secured a draw for Glamorgan after Surrey had asked them to follow on 180 runs behind at Cardiff.

Opener Rees stuck around for 89 in more than four hours and Powell made 65 after the home side had lost a couple of early wickets.

Similarly, Matt Walker (70no) and Mark Pettini (67no) shared an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 147 to see Essex to safety against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.

News
news
New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Sport
sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all