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Durham fight back to dent Sussex's hopes of finishing third
Sussex’s hopes of finishing third in the Championship are hanging in the balance after Keaton Jennings and Michael Richardson led a Durham fightback on the third day at Hove.
Sussex looked on course to complete a convincing win when they reduced Durham to 120-6 in their second innings, still trailing by 44.
But Jennings and Richardson both scored centuries in a record seventh wicket partnership of 218 to turn the game completely on its head.
Richardson was eventually out for a career-best 129 but Jennings will resume tomorrow on 113 after guiding Durham to 380-7 at the close, a lead of 216.
Sussex need to win the game to finish third in the table with a draw or defeat meaning they will have to settle for fifth spot.
The day had got off to a perfect start for Sussex as they picked up the wickets of Mark Stoneman and Scott Borthwick inside the opening five overs.
Stoneman got a leading edge to a ball from Jordan to loop a catch to Luke Wells at mid-off while Borthwick was bowled by a delivery from Steve Magoffin which kept low.
Will Smith’s final ever innings for Durham – he has not been offered a new contract for next season – came to a disappointing end as he slapped a wide half-volley from Luke Wright straight to Chris Nash at backward point.
Ben Stokes then led an entertaining counter-attack as he and Keaton Jennings put on 70 for the fourth wicket off just 74 balls.
Stokes pulled Jimmy Anyon out of the ground for two sixes on his way to a 40-ball 45, although he was given a reprieve on 24 when he was dropped by Magoffin at deep fine leg after top edging another hook off Anyon.
The partnership was broken when Jordan returned to the attack to bowl Stokes with his first ball as the England man was beaten for pure pace.
Jordan picked up a third victim before lunch as Paul Collingwood gloved a short ball to Nash in the gulley to leave Durham floundering on 111-5, still 53 behind.
When Anyon removed Phil Mustard shortly after lunch it looked like Sussex might wrap up victory before lunch without having to bat again.
Jennings and Richardson put paid to those ideas, however, as they wiped out Durham’s deficit and began to build a lead where the visitors could start to think of an unlikely victory.
Jennings brought up his 50 off 122 balls and moved to his third first class century off a further 96 deliveries.
Richardson was more aggressive as he smacked Chris Nash and Anyon for sixes on his way to a half century off 81 balls.
The pair surpassed the previous record stand for the seventh wicket for Durham against Sussex which stood at the 148 put on by Dale Benkenstein and Liam Plunkett at Hove in 2009.
They took Durham’s lead up to 174 before Richardson finally fell for 129 six overs before the close when he mistimed a pull to give Anyon his 50th Championship wicket of the season.
Jennings was still there at the end while Usman Arshad 38 off just 23 balls to add to Sussex's pain.
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