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REPORT: Five for Whittingham on day three


Stuart Whittingham took a maiden first-class five-wicket haul on day three of Sussex’s Specsavers County Championship match with Derbyshire.

Sussex’s seamers were forced to work hard on a wicket offering little assistance and Derbyshire batted through the day to finish on 322-8 in their second innings, their lead extended to 389 runs.

Whittingham, playing in his third Championship match of the season and just the ninth of his career, bowled with real venom at times and the yorker which speared into Ben Slater’s stumps after the opener had made 45 would have been too good for most batsmen.

After lunch Whittingham, who took eight wickets in two games against Derbyshire last season, persuaded Matt Critchley, who played the most fluent strokes of the day in his 51, to pull into the hands of George Garton at deep mid-wicket when the bowler dropped short before taking two wickets with the second new ball.

Harvey Hosein demonstrated plenty of resolve but shortly after reaching a 111-ball half-century – one of five in the match by Derbyshire batsmen - with four boundaries before he sliced a full-length ball to backward point.

Hardus Viljoen (1) was yorked by Whittingham, who then had Will Davis caught at mid-wicket by Ollie Robinson for 25 in the penultimate over.

Robinson was rewarded for a good opening spell when Wayne Madsen shuffled in front for 31 while a toe-crushing yorker from Garton was too good for Alex Hughes (14) in the second over after lunch.

Despite Derbyshire’s imposing lead, Sussex will feel they have a chance of a successful run chase tomorrow given the placidity of the pitch.

With second and third-placed Worcestershire and Northamptonshire pushing for victory in their matches, Sussex will need to win to keep their promotion hopes alive.

Speaking at the close, Whittingham said: “It’s my first five-for in first-class cricket so that’s a great feeling. I didn’t think it was going to come to be honest when we went off for bad light but I couldn’t have asked for anyone better under that catch than Ollie Robinson for my fifth wicket.

“I’m a Derby lad although I moved from there when I was six but I’ve got a lot of ties with the place so it was a little bit emotional. My grandad was a big Derbyshire fan so maybe he was watching over me today. I got eight wickets against them last season as well – it’s weird how it works out sometimes.

“It’s only my third game and it’s been a bit frustrating this season but until today I have not bowled as well as I can when I’ve had a chance. But I have worked hard in the second team and I feel I have improved this season. Hopefully now I can finish the season strongly.”

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