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REPORT: Read and Root take attack back to Sussex

27-Sep-2017

Abe Sakande celebrates after removing Billy Root for 132

Chris Read made a century in his final game as Nottinghamshire frustrated Sussex's hopes of finishing the season with a victory.

The 39-year-old captain scored 124 – his 26th first-class hundred - while Billy Root made 132, his maiden century in the Specsavers County Championship, to help their side recover from 65 for 5 to make 477, a deficit of 88 against Sussex at the 1st Central County Ground, Hove.

Bad light prevented Sussex from starting their second innings after tea and with a day to go Notts only have to draw the game to secure their return to the top flight with Worcestershire.

If they do it will be in no small part because of Read, who came together with Root when his side were in deep trouble to perform the sort of rescue act with the bat that has been his trademark during a 20-year career.

Having resumed on 108 for 5 Read and Root went on the offensive in the morning session.

Read did give a difficult chance on 71 which sub fielder Tom Haines dropped at mid-wicket but he reached his hundred with a six over fine leg off Stuart Whittingham and departed to a standing ovation after lunch for 124 when he pulled a bouncer from Jofra Archer to deep mid-wicket, having faced 152 balls with 16 fours. Archer had been awarded his county cap during the interval.

Root’s only other first-class hundred came at Hove in 2016 when he was playing for Leeds-Bradford MCCU. A square drive to the rope off Abe Sakande took him to three figures and he didn’t give a chance until falling lbw to the same bowler working to leg. His runs came off 168 deliveries and included 16 fours. The pair had added 242 in 48 overs for the sixth wicket.

Notts still had work to do. When Root was seventh out they were still 71 short of avoiding the follow on but the tail wagged furiously.

Chris Jordan did make two breakthroughs with the new ball including a superb catch off his own bowling to remove Brett Hutton for 31. But Matt Carter and Luke Wood secured maximum batting points and even when Wood was caught at second slip for 32 to make it 404 for 9 Nottinghamshire weren’t finished.

Last man Harry Gurney, who has a career average of five, put bat to ball in entertaining style to make an undefeated 42, eclipsing his previous best of 26, as the follow-on was saved.

Carter too wielded the long handle to good effect as 73 were plundered for the last wicket. Sakande finally ended the innings when Carter was caught behind for 33, also a career-best. In 76.3 overs Notts had scored 369 runs with Archer and Whittingham each picking up three wickets.

There were still 25 overs left but even with the floodlights on conditions weren’t fit and umpires Billy Taylor and Martin Saggers abandoned play for the day at 5.15pm.

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