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REPORT: Salt's top score sets up intriguing final day

21-Sep-2017

Phil Salt gave Sussex the chance of a final day victory against Durham at Chester-le-Street with a classy innings of 72.

In only his sixth first-class match the 21-year-old Wales-born right-hander batted very responsibly after a cavalier start as Sussex totalled 302 in their second innings.

Needing 264 to win, Durham had faced three of the scheduled nine overs when bad light intervened. The out-of-form Keaton Jennings took the score to five with Tom Latham, who would have been lbw second ball had Chris Jordan not over-stepped.

Sussex, who trailed by 39 in the first innings, slipped from 101 without loss to 177 for five. But Salt, who had a previous best of 46, scored 11 off his first four balls and was ably assisted by wicketkeeper Michael Burgess, Ollie Robinson and Jordan.

Salt's was the second career-best of the day following Brydon Carse's unbeaten 61 for Durham. Resuming on 21, the South Africa-born paceman picked up both Stuart Whittingham and George Garton behind square for six.

He dominated a stand of 84 with Graham Clark, who moved on from his overnight 73 to 88 before a ball from Jordan skidded on to have him lbw.

When Jordan rested, it took only one ball for Robinson to complete a five-wicket haul.Chris Rushworth clipped it straight to square leg to give Robinson five for 69.

Jordan had two for 77 from 31, while Whittingham picked up his only wicket when last man Graham Onions spooned to extra cover and Durham were all out for 385.

The lead was quickly wiped out by Sussex's acting captain Luke Wells and Harry Finch, who had 50 on the board in 11 overs to lunch and looked even more comfortable in adding a further 50.

Finch was first to go for 37, James Weighell claiming the first of his three wickets with his second ball.

Following his 258 at Hove and 122 in the first innings here, Wells again batted impressively to make 58 and take his season's tally against Durham to 438.

Laurie Evans made four before edging behind off Weighell, who bowled well for five overs before straying in the next two. His seventh cost 15 and gave Salt his flying start.

Luke Wright  fell lbw to the first ball of off-spinner Ryan Pringle's second spell, a long hop which barely left the ground to defeat an attempted pull.

Stiaan van Zyl was also unlucky, being caught down the leg side by wicketkeeper Michael Richardson off Onions after cruising to 45.

Salt was eighth out when he got a big inside edge into his stumps trying to run Jennings to third man. 

Jordan's attempts to protect the last two proved futile as left-hander Garton was bowled by a sharp leg break from Cameron Steel and Whittingham was run out when called back for a second to deep mid-wicket.

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