The fate of Yorkshire’s season could well lie in the hands of Durham after a miserable first day at Hove.

Yorkshire must win away to Sussex to guarantee survival in Division One of the County Championship, but only 38 overs were possible yesterday after delays for rain and bad light, and in them six key White Rose wickets were lost.

The prospect of a Yorkshire victory on the south coast has thus significantly dwindled after day one and, with Sussex and Lancashire almost certain to survive, the Tykes need a favour from Durham, who could yet keep Yorkshire up with a good win over Kent.

That remains a possibility with Kent 190-9 in the first innings at Canterbury.

At Hove, after the match started an hour late following heavy showers, Yorkshire were in and out of the pavilion all too frequently as momentum was sapped away from the visitors by both the weather and the loss of crucial early wickets.

After losing the toss, Yorkshire then lost Adam Lyth for a duck when Jason Lewry outfoxed the left-hander and clobbered his off-stump out of the ground to leave Lyth motionless, frozen in a forward defensive position which was comprehensively beaten.

Andrew Gale showed some fight with 31 from 52 balls including five boundaries, but his dismissal saw Yorkshire slip to 37-2 when he flailed slightly to Mohammad Sami and Matt Prior mopped up behind the stumps.

That left an all-too-familiar sight in the middle, Anthony McGrath and Jacques Rudolph at the crease charged with saving Martyn Moxon’s side from a poor start.

One of that pair coming to the rescue has been a positive regularity this season, but, this time, both failed to make serious runs.

McGrath passed a fitness test to play but he struggled to get off the mark and managed just a single from his first 29 balls. He eventually went for three after Mohammad Sami skidded one across the pitch and found an outside edge before the veteran knew what had hit him, Ollie Raynor holding on comfortably at first slip.

That put Yorkshire’s hopes of a competitive first innings total squarely on the shoulders of Rudolph, but the South African couldn’t find the form that has seen him sail past 1,000 runs this season, Sami again taking the wicket as he bowled Yorkshire’s player of the season 15 minutes before the close.

So often Rudolph’s departure has coincided with a Tykes collapse and it proved no different at Hove as Yorkshire lost two further wickets before the end.

Gerard Brophy became Sami’s third victim of the match when he swung one back into his off-stump and Steve Patterson lasted less than five minutes when Lewry trapped him lbw for a duck.

Yorkshire will almost certainly go down if they lose, and that looks a very real prospect at the end of day one, as they reached stumps at 84-6.

York’s Jonathan Bairstow was expected to make his first team debut in the game after being named in a squad hit by injuries, but he didn’t make the 11.