Michael Richardson helps Durham to win against Sussex
County Championship Division One, Chester-le-Street
Durham 227 & 167-5 beat Sussex 211 & 180 by five wickets
Durham 20pts, Sussex 4pts
Durham won for the fifth time in six County Championship matches as Michael Richardson's 58 helped them beat Sussex by five wickets at Chester-le-Street.
Sussex, resuming on 112-5, were bowled out for 180 with Chris Rushworth taking 5-38 and Ben Stokes collecting 3-51.
Durham were set 165 to win and they comfortably reached their target.
Richardson scored his third 50 in first-class cricket and Stokes added a further 45 off 60 balls as the hosts made 167-5 to win with a day to spare.
VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Durham's Paul Collingwood:
"We couldn't have wished for anything better than our finish to the season.
"At the halfway point we had to have a serious change and we all put our hands up and admitted it needed to be better.
"We all stuck in and there was a lot of pride in the second half of the season. We worked hard and deserved those wins.
"We had a little bit of bad luck in the first half of the season. It was unfortunate but I would never put it down to Phil Mustard's captaincy. It was obviously hard on him.
"But we avoided relegation and we all know we have got to do a lot better next season."
Durham coach Geoff Cook:
"I think the efforts of the team deserve praise and they have played really in the latter half of the season.
"We played some teams at the right time and that reflects the change of luck we had.
"Things started to roll for us after the narrow defeat at Arundel against Sussex and we moved on from that on the back of some very strong bowling performances in some bowler-friendly conditions.
"We have had Graham Onions with a huge bag full of wickets with three others getting up around 30 wickets.
"It's a simple formula for doing well in the Championship and in the second part of the season we have won more games than anyone else and ended up with one win less than the leaders."
Sussex coach Mark Robinson:
"From where we were at the beginning of the season, I'm pleased we finished where we did but I am also a little bit disappointed we didn't get over the line in one or two competitions.
"There's not a lot to separate most teams from top to bottom. This game was a nearly game for us and when we needed some big decisions to go our way they didn't.
"We bowled a lot in this game with a wet ball, but things didn't happen when we needed them to.
"You find out about people in games like this. Neither side played on day one but both dug in after that and played well. This was a good test for some of our players, particularly seeing how they handle the likes of Graham Onions running into them.
"However, we missed a few little windows of opportunity in this game to take the game by the scruff of the neck and Durham ran away with it in the end."