Durham 110 Sussex 119-2: Sussex's deadly duo combine to upstage Harmison

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The Independent Online

If Steve Harmison is to feature in the three-Test series against Pakistan starting on 13 July he will hope for better luck than he and his Durham teammates enjoyed against Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Mushtaq Ahmed at Chester-le-Street yesterday.

The deadly duo took their combined total of championship wickets to 55 in five matches this season as Durham were dismissed for 110.Harmison's search for his first championship wicket since his return from injury was thwarted by a dropped slip catch as Sussex replied with 119 for two.

Durham began the day only five points behind their Championship-leading visitors but ended it thoroughly chastened after being bamboozled by Mushtaq, who finished with five for 25 in 13 overs.

His first four victims all succumbed to googlies, two left-handers to edged catches and the others lbw, while Harmison's merry mixture of paddles, sweeps, reverse sweeps and edged drives ended when he was bowled.

His own bowling lacked direction when he initially roared in. When he throttled back in search of greater accuracy, he found Hopkinson and Richard Montgomerie entrenched.

Both fell to the change bowlers with the total on 57, but Montgomerie would be disappointed with his top-edged pull off Mick Lewis' leg-side long hop.

Durham's total was their lowest since they were dismissed for 91 by Derbyshire on this ground two years ago in a match which was also preceded by heavy rain.

Dale Benkenstein, whose team have achieved maximum batting points twice already this season, chose to bat when play began at noon and Jon Lewis and Jimmy Maher looked comfortable until the ball went out of shape and was changed in the fifth over.

Lewis played back to the next delivery and was lbw to Rana, and in the paceman's next over Gordon Muchall was given out caught behind.

Luke Wright was retained at the expense of James Kirtley and he produced a ball which left Maher off the pitch to have him caught behind.

Mushtaq was introduced at 52 for three after 27 overs and after beating Gary Pratt with the last two balls of his first over, both googlies, he found the edge with the first ball of his second.