Sussex v Surrey, Horsham, 3rd day

Wells earns Sussex victory chance

Sahil Dutta at Horsham

June 8, 2012

Comments: 2 | Text size: A | A

Surrey 124 and 39 for 1 trail Sussex 351 (Wells 127) by 188 runs
Scorecard

Luke Wells withstood gale-force winds and all Surrey had to offer on his way to 127 that set up a sizeable first-innings lead for Sussex at Horsham. In the six overs of play possible on day two the home side lost four wickets, yet Surrey needed the best part of 93 more overs to prise out the final four as Sussex wrestled firm control of the match.

The leaden skies and swirling winds made for grim conditions that were at odds with the cheery efficiency of Sussex's innings. It was led by Wells, whose 277-ball knock spanned three days, and supported stoutly by the tail. For a batting side that has struggled of late, 87 for 6 to 351 all out was some comeback.

The recovery pivoted on Wells' second hundred of the season. That first also came against Surrey, but in defeat in the opening match of the summer. Since then his form had tailed off badly and he was dropped when Luke Wright returned. His recall for this game came in place of Murray Goodwin. It is a sizeable role to fill but with his fifth first-class century, he looked perfectly capable of doing so.

Wells is everything Surrey's youthful batsmen are not and, while he may not stir the Twenty20 scouts any time soon, he gives off an air of permanence Surrey's top-order could never establish. He is still willowy but his height and calm demeanour will draw regular comparisons to Alastair Cook.

Despite his lengthy stay at the crease it is difficult to recall him even playing and missing. There was one chance, though, when on 88 he edged Murali Kartik to slip but Gareth Batty couldn't hold on and that was as close as Surrey got until he was finally dismissed.

Meaker, so destructive amid showers on the second day, strained and was pacey throughout but could not find a regular length between pitch-up yorkers and pound-down short balls. Jade Dernbach was off-colour and irritable, yelling at himself on more than one occasion. Rory Hamilton-Brown looked the part - chest puffed out as always - but could not find a combination to nullify Wells and the Sussex tail. The pitch was no help, lacking both pace and the seam movement of the opening two days. But he did not try himself or Zander de Bruyn at any stage.

After Wells fell, edging an expansive drive behind to give Kartik a fourth wicket, Surrey's thoughts would have turned to batting. Instead they were subjected to an unexpected, but wholly delightful, 80-run stand for the last wicket. The sun even came out and together, James Anyon and Monty Panesar finally brought some festival lightness to the game. Anyon slugged the ball sweetly for his highest first-class score - an unbeaten 64 - while Panesar attracted cheers from everyone, including Kartik after one six down the ground in boundary-filled 31. It was not the first time this season Surrey have burst through the opposition's top order only to be thwarted by the tail.

A tough, all-day spell in the field was hardly the preparation Mark Ramprakash needed in his attempt to regain form. He struggled manfully - making 3 from 24 balls - but at least remained intact. Jason Roy was fluent, as he often is, but on 35 received a lifter from Steve Magoffin that he could only fend off to point.

Panesar, sufficiently buoyed by his fun with bat in hand, threatened with turn, bounce and fielders around the bat during his three overs before the close. With the forecast promising for Saturday, Sussex have every chance of forcing a result.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by my.favourite.stroke.is.the.block on (June 9, 2012, 11:57 GMT)

Surrey have come back from poor first innings scores before, and I expect them to do so again. They'll stay up.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (June 8, 2012, 21:47 GMT)

Surrey are beginning to look like they are going to slip back into the relegation battle and may depend on the poor form and fortune of others to stay up. That would be a pity for a talented side but they seem to have psyched themselves out every time that they encounter a pitch that does a bit. It is very hard to see them fighting back in this match; were they to do so though, they would finally be showing the spirit that they will need to stay up.

Comments have now been closed for this article

TopTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
County Results
Hampshire v Warwickshire at Lord's - Sep 15, 2012
Hampshire won (lost fewer wickets)
Derbyshire v Hampshire at Derby - Sep 11-14, 2012
Derbyshire won by 6 wickets
Essex v Yorkshire at Chelmsford - Sep 11-14, 2012
Yorkshire won by 239 runs
Lancashire v Surrey at Liverpool - Sep 11-14, 2012
Match drawn
Leics v Gloucs at Leicester - Sep 11-14, 2012
Leics won by 2 wickets
Notts v Warwickshire at Nottingham - Sep 11-14, 2012
Match drawn
All recent results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days