Harmison has to take back seat

Durham 473-4 dec Sussex 245 & 208-5

Steve Harmison's hopes of making a belated impact on the Ashes suffered a setback at the Riverside yesterday as his Durham team-mates were making unflustered progress towards a second successive County Championship title.

The 30-year-old could only bowl six overs in two expensive spells when Sussex followed on 228 runs behind because of a badly blistered big toe.

He picked up the last wicket to fall in Sussex's first innings, spent the next three hours grazing at long leg and after returning to bowl three more overs went off again for further treatment. It does not look like a problem which will prevent Harmison from joining up with England tomorrow ahead of the fourth Test which starts on Friday, but will be a concern nonetheless because Headingley is the venue where he is most likely to play against Australia.

With Harmison hors de combat it was left to Australian-born Callum Thorp to lead the champions' charge towards their sixth win. The 24-year-old from Perth, who is English-qualified because his parents were born here, took a season's best 5 for 86 as Sussex subsided from 131 for one to lose seven wickets for 86 in the morning session, three of them to Thorp.

Operating exclusively from the Lumley Castle end, he got the ball to swing by the simple virtue of pitching it up before returning after lunch to complete the sixth five-for of his career when he ended a ninth-wicket stand of 40 between Ollie Rayner and Corey Collymore. Rayner probably felt he owed his side a few runs after running out Mike Yardy in the last over before lunch when his skipper was three short of a hundred. Yardy was called through for a single after playing the ball behind him and was unable to beat Dale Benkenstein's direct hit despite a dive. The next highest score was Ed Joyce's 36 and he only added four runs after retiring hurt late on the second day when Harmison hit him on the elbow.

Thorp's two wickets in successive overs when Sussex followed on were even more important. The pitch seemed to have lost its venom but Chris Nash drove badly at a wide delivery again pitched up and then Murray Goodwin inside-edged a vicious break-back. Luke Wright counter-attacked intelligently to score his second half-century of the season and ensure the game went into a fourth day.

Sussex have been outstanding in one-day cricket but their struggles in the Championship in the post-Mushtaq era are not surprising. Their bowling looked toothless and Yardy apart they have lacked consistency with the bat. They have the Twenty20 finals to look forward to on 15 August and lost the Friends Provident Trophy final last week but Kent did the same last year and ended up losing their First Division status. Sussex will need to show a lot more gumption if they are to avoid a similar fate.

Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
News
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
i100
News
London is the most expensive city in Europe for cultural activities such as ballet
arts
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
tv
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
football
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

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape