Sussex enjoyed a successful first day of their Specsavers County Championship Division Two contest against Durham, reducing the home side 210-8 at the close despite a career-best score of 54 from teenager Liam Trevaskis.
All eyes were on Cameron Bancroft on his bow for the north-east outfit. He made a patient 33, but he and his team-mates in the top order struggled to put runs on the board amid tight bowling from the visitors' attack led by Ollie Robinson.
Trevaskis led a fightback in the evening session, scoring his maiden first-class 50. However, a late surge from Chris Jordan ensured that Sussex were in command after the first day at Emirates Riverside.
Robinson said after play: "The pitch played okay this morning. It moved around a little bit, but it was slow so it gave the batsmen time to adjust. As bowlers we felt in the game all day. A few of their batsmen applied themselves very well. Bancroft started and then Trevaskis in the latter part of the day. Overall we're pretty happy with that and we feel as though we've gone into tonight just ahead.
"I don't think you can not like bowling at Durham. You always come here and the pitches do a little bit more than elsewhere. It's just a nice place to bowl. I felt as though I could have bowled again before lunch or even after my first spell after lunch, but obviously the skipper didn't put me on so you've just got to stand there and wait to be told to bowl. The rest of the lads did a good job. We bowl as a unit and a team, everyone bowled today."
Durham were inserted after an uncontested toss. Cameron Steel rather than Bancroft opened alongside Alex Lees, and he got off the mark with his first delivery of the innings. However, Steel made only three runs before Robinson removed his off stump.
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Bancroft arrived at the crease to join Lees to a smattering of applause from home fans, although scoring proved to be tough for both batsmen. Lee battled for an hour at the crease before he was bowled by Mir Hamza for 12, leaving the home side exposed at 17-2. Gareth Harte and Bancroft were able hold out until the lunch break, edging Durham over the 50-run mark.
Robinson returned from the Finchale End and broke the stand at 46, bowling Harte for 18. The Sussex seamer was in rhythm and notched his third wicket of the day when he trapped Jack Burnham lbw for a duck. Bancroft's resistance was proving vital for the home side to keep the visitors at bay, despite the slow progress in the middle.
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However, the Durham skipper was removed by David Wiese after facing 159 deliveries, edging to Jordan at first slip. At 97-5, the home side were facing a challenge to post a competitive total in their first innings. Trevaksis and Ned Eckersley, on debut, kept Sussex at bay amid precise bowling from Robinson, Hamza and Jordan.
The duo put on the first 50 partnership of the innings from 114 deliveries, defying the visitors' attempt to take control. Trevaskis displayed a fluency that his team-mates had failed to discover at the crease. The left-hander finding the boundary to pass his previous highest first-class score of 27.
Eckersley's impressive knock was ended on 40 when he played a loose drive from a Jordan delivery, knicking behind to Ben Brown, which ended a fine stand of 93 with Trevaskis. The 19-year-old played and missed on several occasions before he finally reached his maiden first-class fifty, piercing the offside field to find the boundary.
Jordan made a late burst for Sussex striking twice in two balls, removing Trevaskis for 54 and James Weighell for a golden duck, putting the visitors in the ascendancy heading into day two.