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Brown leads Sussex fightback
9:30am Wednesday 12th September 2012 in Sport
A fluent unbeaten 76 by Ben Brown and superb bowling by Steve Magoffin helped Sussex to step up their bid for second place in the LV County Championship on the first day against Durham at Chester-le-Street yesterday.
Brown went in with his side on 67 for five and helped them to 211 then Magoffin opened up with three for 19 in 10 overs.
Durham had recovered from 65 for four through a stand of 53 between Mark Stoneman and Paul Collingwood when the Australian seamer returned for a further five overs.
But it was Monty Panesar who lifted the day's tally of wickets to 16 by taking two for four in five overs as Durham closed on 131 for six.
Collingwood tried to hit his former England team-mate over the top and was caught at mid-on for 19, then Stoneman edged to Mike Yardy at slip.
Stoneman was the only batsman on either side able to counter the new ball as the left-handed opener made 53, despite batting for half his innings with a runner after suffering a hamstring injury.
Despite having more at stake than Durham, it was Sussex who took the opportunity to give experience to a few youngsters.
The team included 21-year-old batsman Matt Machan, left-arm swing bowler Lewis Hatchett, South African all-rounder Kirk Wernars and 6ft 9in all-rounder Will Adkin.
After losing the toss, acting captain Chris Nash drove at the seventh ball and edged to first slip as Chris Rushworth opened up with an excellent spell.
Graham Onions struggled at the other end, but when he switched he quickly took two wickets.
Callum Thorp was the first to strike from the Finchale End, having Luke Wells caught behind for 25, although the left-hander clearly did not agree with the decision.
Once the ball stopped swinging batting became relatively easy and Brown and Wernars put on 106.
Durham needed a run-out to make the breakthrough. Brown had just reached 50 off 59 balls when he drove into the covers and went for a run, only for Wernars to be stranded by Michael Richardson's diving stop. Wernars was three short of his career-best on 50.
Brown looked very comfortable and timed the ball superbly in making his runs off 102 balls with 13 fours.
Durham also scored fluently against all bowlers other than Magoffin and Panesar, but it was Hatchett who struck first when Keaton Jennings padded up to his sixth ball and fell lbw.
Richardson was Magoffin's first victim, lbw third ball, and the other two were both bowled. Ben Stokes was beaten on the drive and Dale Benkenstein played back defensively to a ball which trimmed his off bail.