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REPORT: Wright impresses with hard-fought knock on day two

13-Sep-2017

Sussex’s match against Derbyshire continued to develop at pace on day two with 12 wickets falling and Derbyshire reaching 33-1 in their second innings, giving them a 98 run lead at the close.

Earlier, Sussex had posted 271 all out in response to Derbyshire’s 338, with Luke Wright scoring his fourth score of fifty or more in the Championship this season.

The day was bookended by two Jofra Archer wickets. He clean-bowled Hamidullah Qadri and ended Derbyshire’s first innings with the first ball of the morning and took what would turn out to be the last wicket of the day when he had Luis Reece caught in the slips by Chris Nash.

In between Archer’s 57th and 58th Championship scalps of the season, Sussex had looked like building significant partnerships with the bat on a number of occasions. 

Seven wickets from Derbyshire’s South African quick-bowler, Hardus Viljoen, however, prevented a number of players from converting starts into big scores.

After the early loss of Angus Robson, Luke Wells and Stiaan van Zyl put on 59 for the second wicket.

Wells was quick to exploit any error in length from the Derbyshire seamers and played a number of attractive shots off both front and back foot, whilst van Zyl offered solid support at the other end, as he began to watchfully build an innings.

The pair were separated, however, in the 16th over of the innings when Viljoen picked up the first of four bowled dismissals when van Zyl went with the score on 62.

After the loss of Chris Nash for a quick 20, Wells was the fourth man to go as he was bowled for 46, including five boundaries.

Sussex then lost regular wickets to leave them in a precarious position at 149-7. At this point, David Wiese joined Wright in the middle and the pair set about narrowing the deficit.

Wiese carried on where he had left off at Northampton last week as he stroked six fours in making 47 from 71 balls.

Wright was watchful, running hard as he picked gaps in the field and waiting patiently for bad balls to send to the boundary in more typical Luke Wright fashion. 

An entertaining 80-run eight wicket partnership was ended when Wiese was caught behind three runs short of successive Championship fifties.

Wright reached his half-century from 102 balls soon after. The milestone was warmly applauded by another healthy Championship crowd at The 1st Central County Ground, who were clearly pleased to see a Sussex favourite back in the runs.

George Garton made an enterprising 18 including a sweetly-struck pull for six over the scoreboard, but the Sussex innings was wrapped up when he and Stuart Whittingham were dismissed by consecutive deliveries. Wright finished unbeaten on 70.

Reflecting on his innings and the state of the game at the close of play, Wright said: “I had to graft. I haven't been in great nick so it was important to spend time out there and see it through.

“As a team we've had two bad days if we're being honest. But you get more chances in the second division and we'll be looking to knock them over tomorrow and then chase a target on the last day on a pitch which is pretty good to be fair. 

“Viljoen is a big strapping lad and bowls fast. He seems to get in and out of rhythm but when he gets it right he can get it through. But we should have seen off his threat better. He's been the standout bowler but we have to look at ourselves and say we gave away too many easy dismissals.”

*Don't forget to secure your place at 'An Evening with Ed Joyce' on Friday 29th September in the Focus Group Boundary Rooms at The 1st Central County Ground. The evening, which will incorporate the end of season awards, is a fantastic opportunity to share your memories of Ed's time at Hove with him and look back at the highlights of his illustrious career. For more information and to book your ticket, click HERE.*


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