Durham bowlers suffering already

WITH Graham Onions due to see a specialist about his back injury, Durham will be grateful that they are unlikely to do much more bowling in their match at Hove.

In just over an hour’s play yesterday Sussex advanced to 505 for nine and, like Yorkshire at Riverside last week, will try to go for an innings win. More rain is forecast for today.

Despite the growing injury list, coach Jon Lewis is not yet considering looking for outside help, although he is in regular contact with Australian John Hastings, who is expected early next month.

“He’s very keen to get here but there’s no plan at the moment to ask Chennai Superkings for his early release,”

said Lewis.

“Nor are we quite at the stage where we might consider bringing in someone on loan, but we are not far off.

“Jamie Harrison could be fit for our first Twenty20 match on Friday and while Usman Arshad is not 100 per cent fit he could bowl again in this match if necessary.

“Having a long bus trip to get here is not ideal for fast bowlers and we have considered flying, but we have to be sensible with our budgeting at the moment.

“We are trying to ease Mark Wood back in after his injury, but the other injuries have increased his workload. He and Chris Rushworth were fantastic this morning in taking on that amount of work and taking four wickets.

Chris was very unlucky not to get the last man, which would have given him the five-for he deserved.”

Lewis added that the results of Ben Stokes’ scan yesterday were encouraging and the England all-rounder will now start batting and bowling.

“He will play some kind of cricket soon, but he won’t be ready for Somerset next week,” added the coach. “He’s being quite sensible about realising he has to come back at the appropriate pace.”

Second team bowlers Paul Coughlin and Josh Bousfield are also injured and the next youngster currently in line for a championship debut, if needed, is Scotsman Gavin Main, who is with the first team this week and is making a good impression.

After a lunchtime downpour there was no further play yesterday, despite a fine afternoon.

Heavy cloud cover in the morning meant the ball started nipping around again and Luke Wright and Ben Brown added only nine before Wright drove at Rushworth and edged to Phil Mustard to end the record sixth-wicket stand of 335.

In adding six runs to his overnight 183 Wright passed his career-best, but he did so rather streakily when a forcing back-foot shot flew off a thick edge not far out of backward point’s reach. He then almost chopped on, so his departure was no great surprise.

Taking the London buses analogy to extremes, Ashar Zaidi departed two balls later when he pushed forward and gave Mustard his fifth catch of the innings.

What a pity his two drops were so expensive in a bizarre scorecard in which the third highest score is 23.

Brown’s career-best 163 is also the highest score by a Sussex No 7, beating another wicketkeeper, Jim Parks, who made 159 not out against Kent in 1950.

A good ball by Wood nipped away to bowl Brown and the Ashington bowler found extra lift to have James Anyon caught at third slip by Kumar Sangakkara.

It came three balls too late to earn Durham the third batting point and by falling short by one here and two against Yorkshire last week they have already dropped more bowling points than in the whole of last season.

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