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REPORT: Finch’s safe hands put Sussex in command on day two


Sussex are in a strong position in their Specsavers County Championship Division Two fixture at New Road, having reduced Worcestershire to 231-8 at the close of day two.

The home side are still 199 runs behind Sussex’s first innings total of 430 all out, and require a further 50 runs to avoid the follow-on. 

Starting the day on 342-7, Sussex added another 88 runs and gained a fourth batting bonus point.

Unbeaten overnight, Jofra Archer (59) scored his third Championship fifty of the season and took his average in the competition to 37.2 in the process. 

Archer was his typically fluent self with the bat, plundering seven fours and a six  in his 93 ball stay at the crease, although he enjoyed some luck having been bowled twice by Ed Barnard no balls.

After Chris Jordan fell for a well-made 58 in the seventh over of the day, Danny Briggs (16) and then Stuart Whittingham (11*) were on hand to support Archer as Sussex went past 400.

It took an excellent catch from Tom Fell to finally dismiss Archer and close the visitors’ innings 25 minutes before lunch.

High-quality catches were then in abundance during Worcestershire’s reply as Sussex’s bowlers got to work.

Harry Finch pouched five as he became the sixth fielder to do so in Sussex’s first-class history, and the first since Javed Miandad against Oxford University in 1976.

Archer also took a stunning grab at mid-wicket off the bowling of Jordan to go with his two wickets, highlighting what an exceptional all-round cricketer the Barbadian is. 

Jordan claimed three scalps in all, including that of Joe Clarke who was quickly eroding Sussex’s lead when he was caught by Finch for 77 off 79 balls.

David Wiese, Danny Briggs and Stiaan van Zyl contributed with a wicket each.

Speaking shortly after the close of play, Finch reflected on a memorable day in the field: “"A really good day and obviously it is nice to take five catches. I don't normally get five chances.

"I've worked quite hard on my slip catching all year but the ball was just following me all day.

"It was a good day from the lads and a good bowling performance. I broke my thumb in the slips last year and it has taken me a while to get back to catching and feeling 100 per cent confident with it.

"Definitely the first few months of the season I was dropping a few I wouldn't normally drop. It is a confidence and mental thing. You have to get over it. The thumb has got pins in it and I'm hoping it stays together.

"There is plenty in the wicket. At times it can look flat and then suddenly things start to happen.

"We are in a really good position and hopefully we can come back tomorrow, get those two wickets really quickly and decide whether to bat again or bowl again."

Play resumes at 11.00am tomorrow, with updates throughout the day on the @SussexCCC Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. 

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