Stokes stars

First published in Sport The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

BEN Stokes took out his frustrations on Sussex this morning by taking four for 21 in eight overs as the visitors collapsed from 56 without loss to 91 for five.

Possibly helped by a change of ball, Stokes found swing and steep bounce to remind the England selectors that his omission from the Test squad was a grave injustice.

Amazingly, both Sussex openers fell to slip catches via the wicketkeeper’s gloves before Phil Mustard clung on to a couple and Stokes took out Ed Joyce’s off stump.

It took an hour for Durham to make the breakthrough then five wickets fell for 23 in 12 overs.

Sussex seemed to profit yesterday from having the ball changed after 31 overs and today it happened after 17.

Balls going soft and out of shape has become a real problem, which will clearly need to be addressed as always finding a replacement of a similar age will be impossible.

Durham had no luck early on as Chris Nash twice edged Chris Rushworth just short of the slips then Luke Wells tried to withdraw his bat from a John Hastings delivery and edged over Mustard for four.

Nash might have been run out for 21 had the athletic Paul Coughlin, swooping from cover, hit the stumps.

Two overs after the ball change Stokes replaced Hastings and after Wells edged him for four the left-hander nicked the fifth ball, which flew very fast to Mustard, who parried it to Scott Borthwick at second slip.

Coughlin came on at the other end and after opening with a maiden he was twice driven to the cover boundary by Nash, who then fended at a short one and edged above Mustard’s head.

The wicketkeeper managed to knock the ball upwards and Paul Collingwood completed the catch at first slip.

Rory Hamilton-Brown edged Stokes to Mustard before the bowler went round the wicket to left-hander Joyce, who played round a fast swinger.

Ben Brown joined Luke Wright but after putting on 335 against Durham at Hove early last month this time they added only four before a steeply-rising ball brushed Brown on the way to Mustard. The batsman seemed to indicate it had hit his shoulder, but he was sent on his way.

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