MARK Stoneman and Ben Stokes revived Durham after they chose to bat on a sunny morning and slipped to 30 for three. With Stoneman completing his fourth half-century of the season they reached lunch on 113 for three.
The Australian Steve Magoffin was as metronomic as ever for Sussex, but without Chris Jordan and James Anyon they looked a little short of quality support.
That may have been why they selected five seamers in addition to off-spinner James Tredwell, on loan from Kent.
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It was left-armer Lewis Hatchett who took two of the early wickets, continuing the disappointing runs for the two South Africans, Keaton Jennings and Michael Richardson.
They started the season well, but after both were dismissed for five today Jennings has 120 runs from his last eight innings and Richardson 38 from his last five.
Jennings hung out his bat to a ball which swung away and took the edge on the way to wicketkeeper Ben Brown.
Richardson was well forward to a ball which appeared to go straight through to Brown, but it had brushed his pad and, to his obvious surprise, he was given out lbw by umpire Nick Cook.
Scott Borthwick fell to Magoffin for ten when a firm push flew into the hands of cover point.
Stokes initially seemed disinclined to knuckle down and got away with missing a couple of airy drives. But once he began to middle the ball he played some blistering strokes in reaching 32.. Tredwell was lofted just short of the rope at long-off and another firm drive struck Stoneman what could have been a damaging blow. He shrugged it off and pulled Steffan Piolet for his sixth four to reach 50 off 77 balls. He had also pulled Jon Lewis for six.