County Championship: Sussex promotion hopes fade with Durham defeat
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The home side required only one wicket to wrap up the Sussex second innings after reducing the visitors to 263 for nine on day three. Fynn Hudson-Prentice and Henry Crocombe defied the Durham seamers for 45 minutes before Matt Parkinson secured the final strike to finish with figures of four for 80, and eight for 138 in the match.Durham lost three wickets in their chase of 57 as Jack Carson found turn out of the fourth day pitch, ending with figures of three for 15. But, Alex Lees and Ollie Robinson guided their team over the line to secure maximum points from the contest.
Sussex coach Paul Farbrace said: "They're the best team in the division and they played the best cricket. We showed some fight and character in terms of how we played on days two and three. We didn't chuck the towel in, which I didn't expect us to. We kept going and bowled half-decently. Unfortunately, we shelled too many chances and we missed some decent opportunities. We haven't played well enough. We're learning a lot about ourselves as a team. Unfortunately, we haven't got the experience on the field when you get into tough situations to deal with them.
"That's a big problem for us. We've got a lot of players who don't know how to win games and therefore they don't expect to win when they get into those tough situations. When you play against a Durham team, who are the best team in the division, when they were put in positions where they could capitalise they knew how to do it. With played against teams this year that have strong experienced cricketers. We're a team of potential, which means that we don't have experience and we don't have a great deal of leadership on the field.
"And we don't have a great deal of understanding of how to win games. That fundamentally is our issue. You can't suddenly change that. What we can do in the winter is recruit well. We need to recruit two or three players, who can come straight into our side with great experience, who know how to win and know how to compete and can help our best youngsters.
"We need to know who our youngsters are that can battle and keep them in the team and surround them with experienced players, who can help them through phases of the game. One of the phrases the dressing room will be sick of me talking about is what the game means at the time, and not enough players understand it.
"They get out at the wrong times. In this game, we lost wickets to the new ball having fought so hard. We have a lad who's 50 not out gets out with a wild slash outside of off-stump rather than seeing the new ball through. They're times that we don't recognise what's needed and we play the same game every day without learning. But, we've got a lot of people that have only played 15 or 20 games in Championship cricket. So, it's no surprise when they're put under pressure by a senior team like Durham they don't know how to cope with it."
Durham need only five points to secure promotion in their next outing, although if Leicestershire fail to beat Sussex next week, the North-East outfit will secure their spot in Division One.Resuming day four with a slender lead of 24, Sussex needed a special effort from their last-wicket pair to put the pressure back on the home side. Hudson-Prentice and Crocombe frustrated Ben Raine and Matthew Potts with the new ball, fending off their attempts to wrap up the Sussex innings.Raine almost prised out Crocombe, but his outside edge flew through the vacant gap between slip and gully. Scott Borthwick turned to Matt Parkinson and he got the breakthrough in his second over, ending the stand for 45 as Hudson-Prentice advanced down the wicket and failed to connect with his drive, allowing Robinson to whip off the bailsAfter bowling out Sussex for 295, the hosts required only 57 runs to secure their sixth win of the season. Carson caused a mild stir in the ranks as bowled Michael Jones before removing Scott Borthwick and David Bedingham in the space of three deliveries. But, the hosts closed out the victory as Ollie Robinson slammed a drive to the fence, taking Durham to the brink of promotion.