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REPORT: Sussex's opening Royal London One-Day Cup clash with Middlesex abandoned due to rain

27-Apr-2017

Will Beer (pictured) and Danny Briggs helped maintain mid-innings control for Sussex

Sussex's opening Royal London One-Day Cup encounter with Middlesex ended without a result today at Lord's, as rain ensured the abandonment of the match.

Bad weather arrived with Sussex 26 for 1 from four overs in reply to Middlesex's 341 for 5 from their 50 overs, meaning both teams take one point each.

Ireland international Paul Stirling’s 71 from 60 balls provided the initial impetus before he fell to the leg-spin of Will Beer.

John Simpson and Middlesex captain James Franklin steadied things following a mini-slide to 146 for 4 with a century stand.

Stirling hit a six and nine fours and Adam Voges also scored a useful 40, but it was Franklin, in a 117-run partnership with Simpson in 16.4 overs, who began a late assault.

Franklin and Simpson, who finished on an unbeaten 82 from 80 balls, built their stand carefully at first as Sussex spinners Will Beer and Danny Briggs regained mid-innings control for their side in excellent 10-over spells.

But Franklin, who did swing leg spinner Beer for the first of his sixes, cut loose when the seamers returned for the last phase of the innings. Simpson and Ryan Higgins hit out strongly in the final overs that their unbroken stand of 78 took only 6.3 overs.

Higgins struck three fours off Ajmal Shahzad, who claimed the wickets of both Nick Gubbins (10) and Franklin (69).

Sussex’s reply began with Chris Nash taking an immediate liking to Steven Finn, with two legside fours in an opening over costing ten and then a pulled six and two further fours in Finn’s second over, which went for 14 runs.

In between, however, Tom Helm produced a fine outswinger with his first ball of the innings to have Luke Wright caught behind for a first ball duck and the 23-year old England Lions fast bowler certainly impressed in the two overs he bowled at a cost of just one run – as well as the prized scalp of Wright – before the rain came.

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