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HIGHLIGHTS & STUMPS: Cachopa and Wright give Sussex the honours at Horsham


Craig Cachopa and Luke Wright acknowledge their century partnership at the Horsham Cricket and Sports Club today

A fourth wicket stand of 174 between Luke Wright and LV=County Championship debutant Craig Cachopa gave Sussex first-day honours against Warwickshire at Horsham.

Both fell in the 80s as Warwickshire fought back by taking four wickets for 19 runs with the new ball but Sussex were relatively pleased to finish on 314 for seven after winning the toss and taking first use of a pitch offering assistance to the seamers and which is likely to turn as the game progresses.

Wright fell 11 short of his third Championship hundred of the season while Cachopa, who signed a two-year contract with Sussex last week after some impressive performances in the second XI, was out for 84.

Both had let-offs against a disciplined Warwickshire attack before prospering either side of tea in front of an appreciative crowd of more than 3,000.

South African-born Cachopa plays for Auckland and qualifies as a non-overseas player through his Portuguese passport. It is an exotic background but the 22-year-old showed a determination to graft after a sketchy start when he hit several balls in the air.

He had a let-off on 27 when wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose dropped a difficult chance as he tried to cut Jeetan Patel, but Cachopa still struck ten boundaries in his half-century, reaching the landmark in the same Patel over just before tea as his partner.

Rankin thought he had got Wright on 45 to a catch in the gully, but the ball deflected off the batsman’s shoulder and his helmet and umpire Alex Wharf turned down the appeal. Otherwise it was an impressive stand by the pair which spanned 48 overs and both looked on course to make hundreds in the final hour when Warwickshire hit back with the new ball.

Chris Woakes found some extra bounce just short of a length to have Cachopa caught at waist height by second slip with the score on 294, Cachopa having hit 18 fours from 167 balls faced. Wright then chased a wide delivery from Keith Barker he could have left and under-edged to Ambrose for 89 from 146 balls with 15 boundaries.

Buoyed by their double breakthrough, Warwickshire took two more wickets before stumps. Steffan Piolet, working a Woakes’ delivery to leg, unluckily trod on his own stumps then England all-rounder Chris Jordan, in only his third Championship appearance of the season, was bowled by Rankin off a bottom-edged pull.

Earlier, openers Luke Wells and Chris Nash had given Sussex a solid start with a stand of 68 when Wells was superbly taken by Ambrose diving to his right to intercept an inside edge. There was a rare failure for skipper Ed Joyce, who was caught behind driving expansively at Barker while Nash, having reached his third half-century of the season, was lbw to Barker trying to work an inswinger to the leg side.

Sussex batsman Cachopa admitted he was disappointed to miss out on a hundred on his Championship debut. He said: "It would have been fantastic but they have got a quality attack who kept coming at us and there is enough in the wicket to keep the bowlers interested.

"I really enjoyed batting with Luke. He is so calm out there and takes the pressure off you because he scores so quickly. We have batted together a few times in New Zealand and he is striking the ball really well at the moment."

Cachopa believes Sussex are in a strong position going into the second day; "If you can bowl good overs the game can stand still a bit and you can take wickets. It is already turning as well so we think we've had a good day."

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