Evens Stevens at Durham as Robinson stars for Sussex

Ollie Robinson / Pic by Phil Westlake
Ollie Robinson / Pic by Phil Westlake

On the Chester-le-Street ground where he made a century on debut two years ago, Sussex's Ollie Robinson underlined his all-round qualities in the Specsavers County Championship match against Durham.

He took three wickets with his usual seam and one with off spin as Graham Clark's unbeaten 73 carried Durham to 321 for six, 25 behind.

Robinson revived Sussex by removing both Tom Latham and Cameron Steel after they had batted through the day's first 44 overs to take their second-wicket stand to 163.

He almost had Latham when trying two overs of off-spin just before lunch. Having reached 50 off 92 balls with seven fours, the New Zealand left-hander was almost bowled round his legs. In the same over he survived a sharp chance to Chris Jordan at slip.

Latham also looked fortunate to survive a Stuart Whittingham lbw appeal on 37, but both batsmen looked supremely comfortable in the first hour after lunch.

Both got out to miscued pulls off Robinson, however. Steel fell for 73 when he found George Garton at deep mid-wicket and four overs later Latham skied to Laurie Evans at deep backward square to depart for 77.

With Danny Briggs left out, Robinson provided the only spin option and he tried it again for three overs before taking the second new ball. His seventh delivery had Ryan Pringle lbw on the back foot.

Left-armer Garton, given another outing with Jofra Archer rested, conceded 34 in his first six-over spell but claimed the scalp of Paul Collingwood in his second.

The Durham skipper got off the mark by driving wide of mid-on for four, but two balls later Garton skidded one through to pin him bang in front.

Jordan ran in strongly and deserved some reward, but his only success came from a ball which moved so sharply away off the pitch that Michael Richardson would have done extremely well to touch it. He lingered several seconds after being adjudged caught behind.

Clark was missed by Jordan at slip off Robinson on ten but soon began pulling strongly and had eight fours in his 72-ball 50.

He dominated a stand of 57 with Pringle and enjoyed better support in an unbroken partnership of 42 with Brydon Carse. Bad light ended play with ten overs left.

Sussex coach Mark Davis said: “It's evenly poised but Durham are probably slightly ahead. Ollie Robinson was very good and Chris Jordan ran in as strongly as I've seen him all season, but it was extraordinary to see him drop a couple of catches.

“We could have been in a better position had they stuck, but we kept coming, which we expect with a young team.

“Ollie generally bowls a fuller length and gets a bit of nip, but he has good control of his bouncer and those two wickets he got with short balls got us back in the game.”

Cameron Steel, caught at deep mid-wicket off Robinson, said: “It was very disappointing to get out like that. I've nailed that shot all year.

“Tom Latham helps me a lot. He talks me through it and I love batting with him. We were going along well and wanted to score as many as we could, so it was disappointing that we got out the same way.”