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REPORT: Brown's sparkling 90 helps lead Sussex innings

15-Apr-2017


Vice-captain Ben Brown led a spirited fightback by Sussex’s lower order batsmen to leave the Specsavers Championship match against Kent at The 1st Central County Ground nicely poised.

Sussex were facing a sizeable first innings deficit when they were reduced to 121 for 7 after lunch on the second day in response to Kent’s 304.

But Brown starred with the bat before he was las man out for 90 following a rollicking last-wicket alliance with Jofra Archer.

Archer had taken 7 for 67 on the first day and enhanced his claims as a genuine all-rounder by contributing an entertaining 60 not out to a partnership of 99, which broke Sussex’s tenth wicket record of 77 which had stood since 1905. It helped take Sussex to a total of 291 with Kent reaching 82 for 2 in their second innings, an overall lead of 95.

Brown deserved a century and hadn’t offered a chance until he tried to pull a short-of-a-length ball from Matt Coles which didn’t get up and was lbw after facing 116 balls and hitting 12 fours. Archer played some eye-catching shots off the front foot to lodge his second first-class 50 from 72 balls with ten fours.

Brown also received good support from David Wiese (22), with whom he added 53 for the eighth wicket to take Sussex past the follow-on target before he took the attack back to Kent.

For the first half of an absorbing day Kent’s seamers had held sway. Heavy cloud cover encouraged the ball to swing and it was desperately hard going before lunch for Sussex, who managed only 74 runs in the session and lost four wickets.

Wayne Parnell and Mitch Claydon took two each with Claydon snaring Stiaan van Zyl and Laurie Evans in three deliveries, but skipper Luke Wright showed what was possible in a cameo either side of lunch which brought him seven boundaries in his 29 before he fell to Coles.

Delray Rawlins, who is making his first-class debut, had belied his lack of experience by batting for more than two hours in the testing conditions before chased a wide delivery from Parnell.

Kent seemed to be firmly in control but as their batsmen had discovered on the first day batting got gradually easier and Brown was soon thumping anything remotely short or rocking back to feast on any width in his favourite areas square of the wicket.

Kent openers Daniel Bell-Drummond and Sean Dickson then put on 60 before Ajmal Shahzad pinned Bell-Drummond (35) immediately after switching ends and then picked up Joe Denly (3) just before the close.

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