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2nd September 2023 News

From the Archive: Durham v Sussex 2009

Durham v Sussex at Chester-le-Street. July 31, August 1,2,3 2009

Durham won by nine wickets

Durham 473-4 dec and 80-1

Sussex 245 and 304

Durham 20 points (after 1 point penalty for slow over rate), Sussex 2 points

This was one of eight County Championship victories in the season for Durham who were undefeated as they convincingly retained the title which had been won for the first time the previous summer.

After winning the toss Will Smith chose to bat and proceeded to share a stand of 231 for the 2nd wicket with Michael Di Venuto. This remains a Durham 2nd wicket partnership record against Sussex. The skipper was dismissed for 101 off 292 balls before bad light brought the first day to a premature close with Durham on 264-2.

On the second day Di Venuto who had faced much less of the bowling than Smith proceeded to the highest first class score of his career. He was 254 not out off 368 balls when the declaration came and had struck 35 fours and one six. He was well supported by Dale Benkenstein who made 69.

Sussex initially made a solid reply and had reached 101-1 when Ed Joyce was forced to retire hurt. On the third day wickets fell at regular intervals with none of the Sussex batters being able to offer much support to Michael Yardy who was run out for 97. Callum Thorp took 5-86.

Sussex were asked to follow on and when they slumped to 115-5 a three day finish seemed possible. However, Luke Wright and Andrew Hodd combined to add 112 for the 6th wicket. On the fourth day Wright reached 118 not out but wickets fell around him as Stephen Harmison took three to finish the innings. The other wickets went to Mark Davies, Callum Thorp and Ian Blackwell.

Michael Di Venuto added an unbeaten 39 to reach a match aggregate of 293 without being dismissed as a comprehensive victory was secured.

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