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REPORT: Sussex are finally overcome at Wantage Road

08-Sep-2017

Jofra’s Archers heroics with the bat were ultimately in vain as Sussex slipped to a six-wicket loss on day four of their Specsavers County Championship match against Northamptonshire.

Either side of a rain interruption that forced an early lunch, Sussex added 11 runs to their overnight score to finish their second innings on 393.

Archer, batting at number nine, was left unbeaten on 81 not out, his fifth half-century of the Championship season.

This was also the highest score of Archer’s burgeoning first-class career, surpassing the 73 he made on his Sussex debut against Essex at Colchester in August last year.

Set 140 to win, Northants lost four wickets with less than 100 on the board to give Sussex the faintest hope of pulling off a miraculous turnaround.

David Wiese – Archer’s partner during day three’s record ninth wicket stand for Sussex against Northants – made the initial breakthrough, removing Rob Newton for 13 via the safe hands of Chris Jordan at slip.

Archer then had Northants’ first innings centurion, Ben Duckett caught down the legside by Ben Brown for 28 to leave the home team 46-2.

Richard Levi and Alex Wakely put on 44 runs for the third wicket, before Ollie Robinson struck twice in two overs to leave Northants 93-4.

At that point, Levi – who finished undefeated on 54 – and Luke Procter decided that an aggressive approach was the best way to avoid any further wobbles and duly saw their side home. 

This was Sussex’s first defeat in seven Championship encounters, a run that started back in May.

Looking back on the match, Sussex Head Coach, Mark Davis said: ““This game went wrong on day one. We chose to bowl first and conditions didn’t suit us, the ball got wet and was hard to bowl with - but we lost control and we need to be better than that.

“To score 400 on that pitch was far too many and that set the rest of the game up.

“Had we got 250-280 in the first innings, we could have put them under more pressure on this final day but ultimately we didn’t play well enough on day one."

Having taken three points from this match, Sussex find themselves 36 points behind second-placed Worcestershire who won against league-leaders Nottinghamshire. They do, however, have a game in hand over the West Midlands side. 

Sussex don’t have to wait long for their next fixture, with Derbyshire visiting The 1st Central County Ground next week. That match starts on Tuesday (12th September) and play gets underway at 10.30am on each day. 


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