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REPORT & REACTION: Finch and Wells help Sussex dominate Pakistan at Hove


Harry Finch is congratulated by Matt Machan on a fine hundred against Pakistan at Hove

Harry Finch scored his second first-class century as he and Luke Wells built a menacing opening stand on Day Two of the three-day tour match against Pakistan at The 1st Central County Ground, Hove.

The 21 year-old put on 212 for the first wicket with Wells, and despite his partner falling seven runs short of a second successive hundred for Sussex, Finch went on to make three figures for only the second time in first-class matches, adding to the ton he made against Leeds/Bradford MCCU at the beginning of the season.

The tourists are 71 for 1 in their second innings, 143 runs ahead of Sussex after the hosts’ declared in the evening session. 

Pakistan had declared on 363 for 5 overnight in order to give their bowling attack, missing Mohammad Amir and Yasir Shah who were rested for this match, some much needed overs ahead of the opening Test at Lord’s against England which begins on Thursday.

But they would not have bargained for a determined opening stand from two players who rarely put a foot wrong in the 45 overs they were together at the wicket, and brought up the 100 partnership in the 21st over.

Wells, who hit 181 in the Specsavers County Championship draw with Glamorgan in midweek, punished anything wayward from the Pakistan attack, striking 16 fours in another impressive knock. He fell though having reached 93 as he nicked one from Wahab Riaz, who was returning for a second spell.

Finch though brought up his hundred from 138 balls and despite falling to Wahab two balls later, Mohammad Hafeez snaffling him in the slips, for a fine century in his inaugural innings as an opener in first-team cricket.

The loss of both openers though sparked somewhat of a Sussex collapse. Matt Machan’s breezy 13 was halted by Imran Khan who trapped him lbw, before skipper Ben Brown departed very next ball, caught behind by Sarfraz Ahmed; four wickets falling for 21 runs.

Phil Salt (37 not out) and Craig Cachopa (19) steadied the ship to put on 58 before the latter became the first batsman out to spin with Zulfiqar Babar claiming the scalp, leg-before.

That signalled the end of the Sussex innings, declaring 72 behind their visitors in order to bowl 24 overs at them before the close of play. And the opening day hero Jofra Archer was amongst the action again when Pakistan took to the crease; Hafeez the man to go as he picked out Cachopa at deep square-leg with an ill-judged pull shot.

Fellow opener Shan Masood (38 not out) remains with first-innings centurion Azhar Ali (9 not out) overnight.

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