LV County Championship - Division One
Durham 380 (S Chanderpaul 138, G R Breese 63, Mohammad Sami 5-95, J D Lewry 4-82) & 125-2 dec (M J Di Venuto 61 no) v Sussex 302 (C D Nash 96, M J Prior 58)
Durham (11pts) drew with Sussex (10pts)
Durham had to take the inevitable draw against Sussex as they suffered a dent to their ever-decreasing title hopes.
The final day of the rain-shortened match was always going to be a non-event with a result out of the question entirely.
Durham did take the last four wickets of the Sussex inning as they were bowled out for 302 and Durham's only chance to win was to blast some quick runs and then hope for a Sussex collapse in just over a session.
The would never be a viable option on a docile Riverside pitch though, and Durham just made 125-2 before declaring and the match was drawn at 4.20pm.
Durham now head into a clash with Kent needing to overturn Nottinghamshire's ten-point lead to land a maiden title, while champions Sussex go into a relegation battle with Yorkshire in the final matches of the season.
Sussex frustrated Durham's title ambitions as they batted their way towards would looks a probable draw at the Riverside.
The County Championships' newest side are still hoping of landing a maiden title but Chris Nash and Matt Prior's batting helped Sussex frustrate the hosts.
Resuming on 325-4, Durham missed the chance of full batting points as they crumbled to 380 all out with their final six wickets for just 55 runs.
Shivnarine CHanderpaul added just eight to his overnight 130 and Mohammad Sami took 5-95 while Jason Lewry compiled figures of 4-82.
Chris Nash and incoming Sussex skipper Michael Yardy made 64 for the opening wicket, and Nash went on to make a fine 96.
Murray Goodwin made 44 eventually after a 93-run partnership with the entertaining Nash, and Prior then entered the fray to further frustrate the home side.
Prior took the spinners especially before he fell to Steve Harmison for 58 but his 60-run stand with Chris Adams made sure that Sussex are well in touch of a draw as they closed on 267-6.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul struck an invaluable 130 not out to propel Durham up to 325-4 at stumps on day two against Sussex.
With the entire first day washed out at Chester-le Street, Durham made significant progress on the second day as they finished 75 runs away from securing maximum batting points.
After being put into bat by Sussex skipper Chris Adams, the visitors' seamers struggled to make use of the early assistance in the air and off the pitch as Michael Di Venuto was the only wicket to fall before lunch.
The Australian missed a full delivery from Jason Lewry and was adjudged lbw for 34, however make-shift opener Ben Harmison and Will Smith survived the remainder of the first session.
Harmison was the first wicket to fall in the afternoon. Having just got a short ball from Mohammad Sami away for two runs with an awkward pull, he wafted at the next delivery and edged on to middle stump for 30.
Smith (23) and Dale Benkenstein (29) then followed, again wasting their reconnaissance, when they edged drives behind - the former departing to a diving catch by Matt Prior.
Chanderpaul and fellow West Indian Gareth Breese then rebuilt the Durham innings majestically as the pair added an unbroken 182 runs for the fifth wicket.
The World Cricket of the Year for 2008, Chanderpaul, struck 15 fours in a relatively untroubled 130 as Breese found the boundary 10 times on his way to an unbeaten 63.
Durham's title charge was halted when day one of their LV County Championship clash with Sussex was abandoned without a ball being bowled.
Heavy overnight rain left the Chester-le Street outfield sodden, and the umpires had no choice but to call off proceedings at around 10am.
The elements are threatening to scupper Durham's title-winning bid - Dale Benkenstein's men are sitting third in the Division One table - two points behind Somerset and three behind leaders Hampshire.
The opening day washout also sees relegation-threatened Sussex's hopes of survival take a blow.
The visitors are lying perilously close to the drop-zone and desperately need a win from their remaining two fixtures to ensure their Division One status.