Durham v Sussex: Ben Stokes seven-for puts hosts in command

Ben Stokes
Stokes played four Tests for England in Australia over the winter, picking up 15 wickets at an average of 32.80
LV= County Championship Division One, Emirates Durham ICG
Close, day two: Durham 337 & 105-1 v Sussex 205
Durham 6 pts, Sussex 4 pts
Match scorecard

Ben Stokes took a career-best 7-67 to rip through the Sussex batting line-up and hand Durham control on day two.

Resuming on 20-0, Stokes accounted for four of the first five Sussex wickets to fall, bowling captain Ed Joyce for two to reduce the visitors to 79-5.

Sussex were dismissed for 205, trailing by 122 runs, largely thanks to an unbeaten 66 from Luke Wright.

Jon Lewis had Mark Stoneman caught for 22 as Durham finished on 105-1, with Keaton Jennings unbeaten on 46.

Stokes' omission from the England Test side has been much to the benefit of Durham and he took an impressive caught-and-bowled to get rid of Rory Hamilton-Brown for just one, as well as bowling Steffan Piolet (25) and Lewis Hatchett (4).

The two sides are evenly matched, with the Division One champions picking up their first victory from eight matches this season with a 27-run victory against Lancashire, but they remain in seventh place.

Sussex are seven points ahead of their opponents in sixth, but having won their first two matches of the season they have only managed five draws and two losses in their last seven.

BBC Newcastle's Martin Emmerson:

"Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes has sent a strong message to the England selectors on the very day their bowlers struggled in the second Test against Sri Lanka.

"He took a career-best 7-67 as Sussex were bowled out for 205 to leave Durham with a first-innings lead of 132.

"By the close they'd stretched that to 237 as they reached 105-1 in their second innings. Keaton Jennings will resume on 46 and Scott Borthwick 22.

"And the good news from a Durham point of view is that time is on their hands because we have only had two days of this encounter in Chester-le-Street and the weather looks good for day three."

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