County Championship: Defiant Sussex take Durham to final day

Bas de Leede and Graham Clark both scored hundreds for Durham
Bas de Leede's maiden hundred for Durham followed one for the Netherlands in July

LV= County Championship Division Two, Seat Unique Riverside (day three)

Sussex 266 & 263-9: Carter 80, Pujara 51, Hudson-Prentice 50*; De Leede 3-36

Durham 505-9 dec: Clark 128, Lees 103, de Leede 103; Crocombe 4-93

Sussex (3pts) lead Durham (8 pts) by 24 runs with one wicket remaining

Match scorecard

Durham are closing in on victory in their County Championship Division Two clash against Sussex following another dominant performance on day three at Seat Unique Riverside.

Bas de Leede produced an excellent all-round display as he notched his maiden first-class century before he claimed three wickets with the ball.

Graham Clark posted his highest first-class score of 128 as Durham posted 505-9 declared - their highest Championship total against Sussex.

Matthew Potts made immediate inroads into the visitors' line-up before Matt Parkinson grabbed the vital wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara, opening up the lower order.

De Leede removed Oli Carter for a valiant 80 before adding two further strikes to put Durham on the brink.

But Sussex, led by Fynn Hudson-Prentice, battled on to take the game into the final day with a slender lead of 24.

Already in a commanding 158-run lead at the start of the day, Durham pressed home their advantage through De Leede, who surged towards his maiden first-class century.

As Clark had done the previous evening, De Leede cruised through the nineties with back-to-back boundaries against Jaydev Unadkat to move into position.

After a slight pause on 99, De Leede found the gap through gully to the fence to reach the milestone for the first time from 137 balls.

The Dutchman fell to Henry Crocombe from the next delivery, ending his partnership with Clark for a brilliant 207 that manoeuvred Durham from a strong position to a dominant one.

Crocombe did end the innings on a high note with a further three wickets, including Clark after he slammed a drive straight to cover.

Scott Borthwick called in the final pair with a commanding 239-run lead to give his bowlers a 20-minute spell before lunch.

Tom Clark survived a drop at first slip, but Potts ensured it was not a costly mistake by pinning the left-hander lbw.

The England seamer then produced a beauty to remove Tom Haines' off-stump, leaving the visitors 24-2.

Pujara's arrival at the crease was a pivotal moment in the game, and after failing in the first innings, the India international was intent on defying the hosts' victory push.

However, it did not stop the fall of wickets at the other end. Tom Alsop fell to a sharp piece of keeping from Ollie Robinson, while Borthwick claimed a good catch at second slip to remove James Coles, presenting Potts with his third wicket.

Pujara needed help to stem the tide, and Carter offered the foil he required to blunt Durham's surge through the line-up. Together the two batters held firm throughout the afternoon session through tough spells from Potts and Parkinson.

Pujara worked his way to a patient half-century from 95 balls, while Carter grinded his way to his fifty alongside his skipper for the seventh time of the campaign.

However, Pujara's resistance was ended by a brilliant delivery from Parkinson, who dismissed the India batter for the second time in the game, breaking a partnership of 83 for the sixth wicket.

De Leede then made a decisive impact with the ball following his excellence with the bat earlier in the day. He yorked Carter but was cruelly denied when the ball struck the stumps and failed to dislodge the bails.

But he ended Carter's innings for 80, pinning the wicketkeeper lbw before removing Jack Carson and Aristides Karvelas to edge Durham closer to victory.

Hudson-Prentice held up the home side, even with the extended half-hour, with an unbeaten half-century, guiding Sussex into a narrow lead.

Report supplied by ECB Reporters' Network.