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REPORT: Wells finishes season in style with fourth hundred

28-Sep-2017

Luke Wells acknowledges the applause after his last-day hundred at Hove

Luke Wells scored his fourth hundred of the season as Sussex drew their final Specsavers County Championship game of the season against Nottinghamshire at the 1st Central County Ground.

Notts were also celebrating as the 12 points they secured were enough to make sure of an immediate return to the top flight after one season along with champions Worcestershire and consign Northamptonshire to third place.

With more than 60 overs lost to rain and bad light during the first three days the chances of a positive result dwindled when there was no play before lunch because of a wet outfield.

But Sussex captain Wells was determined to finish the season in style, racing to a 97-ball hundred, his fourth of the season. The left-hander hit 13 fours and four sixes as he took his aggregate for the season to 1,292 runs at an average of 64.60. He finished leading run-scorer in Division Two with only Surrey’s Kumar Sangakkara scoring more Championship runs.

While he and Harry Finch were putting on 123 at five an over there was the prospect that Sussex might declare and set Nottinghamshire a tempting target.

But Finch was caught off a top edge for 43 and Samit Patel ended Wells’ innings in his next over when he was bowled playing around a yorker-length delivery.

By that stage Notts had spinners operating at both ends and four substitute fielders on the pitch including their strength and conditioning coach Ross Herridge.

Matt Carter picked up three wickets with his off breaks either side of tea. Phil Salt (1) was bowled heaving across the line and top-edges accounted for Chris Nash (1) and Delray Rawlins (0). Patel took a third wicket when Chris Read took the 1,051st and final match of his 20-year career to dismiss Michael Burgess for 19. Sussex had lost 5 for 24 in eight overs but Chris Jordan and Jofra Archer added 49 together before Sussex declared on 229 for 7, a lead of 317.

Archer had earlier signed a contract extension with Sussex until 2020, having been capped by the county on Wednesday.

Read had been given a standing ovation by the Hove crowd and a guard of honour by both teams when he walked out for the final session of his career and another when he walked off at the end.

Fittingly he retires after one of the most successful seasons in Nottinghamshire’s history with promotion added to two one-day trophies.

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