Somerset v Sussex, Taunton, 3rd day August 23, 2012

Panesar leaves victory within sight

Ivo Tennant at Taunton

Sussex 279 (Khan 57*, Rehman 5-70) and 31 for 0 need 133 more runs to beat Somerset 247 (Trescothick 123, Panesar 7-60) and 195 (Suppiah 59, Panesar 6-77)

Monty Panesar, the 'Sultan' himself, is spinning Sussex into contention for the Division One title. Having taken career-best figures of 7 for 60 in Somerset's first innings, he took a further six wickets now, at a cost of 77. Fine, if flat and quickish bowling, almost at Derek Underwood's pace at times, on a pitch that gave him assistance throughout, and under the gaze of James Whitaker, the England selector.

All of which left Sussex needing 164 to win - 31 runs of which they had achieved by stumps. The weather, it would seem, is their main obstacle to achieving a victory which will give them the very spur they need in their quest to become champions. Panesar, it should be noted, has outbowled Abdur Rehman in this match, although, of course, there is time enough for that to change.

Bowling from the Pavilion End, Panesar exerted control, accuracy and sufficient nous to account for the Somerset batting. Not just any old wickets, either: he numbered Marcus Trescothick among them. The former England batsman, who had made a century in the first innings and 38 now out of an opening partnership of 84 with Arul Suppiah, had just flicked him twice to the midwicket boundary when he was beaten by guile as opposed to turn.

Panesar saw him advancing down the pitch, pushed his arm ball a little wider and Trescothick edged to slip. From 84 for no wicket, Somerset subsided to 195 all out. Umpires are quite unafraid nowadays to give batsmen out lbw on the front foot, well forward, as Alex Barrow - admittedly, a small man - and Steve Kirby were in this innings. James Hildreth rashly attempted to hit him over the top and was held by mid-off, who moved a few yards to his right, and Peter Trego also went leg before.

There were wickets, too, for Chris Nash, bowling offspinners at a rather more sedate pace: Suppiah, who is capable of the most elegant cover drives, reached a half century before too uppish a forcing shot off the back foot was held at short cover. Credit here to Ed Joyce for such a field placing. Jos Buttler, seemingly playing for turn, was taken by Ben Brown and Rehman was a third victim. The injured Nick Compton was much missed. He may not play again this season due to a prolapsed disc.

Sussex had proved more purposeful with the bat, too. Resuming on 161 for 6 in the morning, they made swift runs through half-centuries by Brown, who hit eight fours, and by Amjad Khan, who reached 50 off 44 balls with a six and eight fours. He really can give the ball a good old tonk. No matter that other tail-enders went cheaply. A first innings lead of 32 was as useful as it was unexpected. In fairness to Rehman, the latest of Somerset's overseas signings, he did take 5 for 70.

As for the final act of the day, one in which Sussex needed to collect as many runs as possible given a dire forecast of rain for much of Friday, Ed Joyce and Nash were untroubled. Alarmingly so from Somerset's perspective. Rehman was given the new ball and Suppiah had the penultimate over, but neither was a match for Panesar. They need to be if Somerset are to win.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on August 24, 2012, 13:24 GMT

    I'm an old mate of Amjad Khan from Copenhagen, we used to play for same club, and it gives me immense plaesure to watch him performing so well, both with the bat and the ball. Wish you all the best Ammy.

  • Simon on August 24, 2012, 9:30 GMT

    @Sussexx Yardy has never really been a long format bowler. Nash is a better First Class bowler, he breaks partnerships and turns it the other way to Monty. Even when he was skipper he rarely bowled himself and the rise of Nashy has bumped him further down the pecking order bowling wise. Useful in the shorter formats, just not in the long.

  • Imraan on August 23, 2012, 23:47 GMT

    Yards.... I don't want anybody to be thankless to You for whatever You have done for Your Team over the past 12 Years or so. So I just want You to keep an eye and do concentrate so much on Your game and as well as Your Seniority as Joyce don't seem to trust Your bowling under His Captaincy. Done is done though.. but You can still change Your Mind and get Your Captaincy back for Sussex Sharks if Joyce doesn't want to use You as a Genuine Allrounder and as well as a vastly-experienced Senior Member of the Team. Anyways.. I wish You all good luck for Your Saturday's finals and as well for the rest of Your Career for Sussex. Go out there and beat Yorkshire Carnegie One-Sided, Sussex ! Luke ( Wright ), Please don't just play a risky shot right from the beginning but just have patience for at least couple of overs. I hope You will do well again for Sussex, Luke Wright, Yards.. try to bowl some tidy overs in the first spell in Cardiff, Prior.. Just go and play Your natural Game, Go Sussex!!

  • Imraan on August 23, 2012, 23:31 GMT

    I would like to say few things to Michael ( Yardy ) regarding His stepping down as Captain for Sussex Sharks as I think He is The Best Leader and I just got the feelings that Joyce is not using You as a Bowler in CB-40s much as You used to bowl Your whole 8 overs quota as a responsible and as well as a Match-winning Skipper for Your Team... so if Joyce would not use You much but some other bowlers instead ... then I would like You to take Your Captaincy and Lead from the Front as Joyce is having some defeats too under His Captaincy, so keep these things in mind and concentrate on Your Game very much. I know Mr. Mark ( Robinson ) is so Generous and caring to You Yards.... but sometimes what happens is .. if You do everything for somebody then You stop doing that which You used to do.... then people perhaps forgetting Your past and concentrate on their present and future, so keep these things in Your mind, Yards.. I am Your craziest Fan and I don't want anybody to hurt You. Go Sussex !!!

  • Imraan on August 23, 2012, 23:12 GMT

    Hellow Sussex Sharks ! I hope all The Sussexers like Me must be getting excited with the way We are approaching yet another Terrific Victory and this time against a mighty Somerset Sabers as they have solid bowling and batting in it.... Anyways.... I must praise Monty Panesar for His Awesome bowling display both in the first and second innings for Us, My heart says He will play Upcoming Ashes in Australia as He has been working mighty hard to be selected for the National Team in for Grame ( Swann ), I wish Monty a very good luck for His future though. Now moving on to the next topic which will be regarding Our Finals on Saturday over Yorkshire then possibly against Hampshire in the Final T-20 in Cardiff. I would like to give My Playing Eleven for Saturday's Final in Cardiff and here are My playing Eleven, I hope Yards would deffenitely appreciate My playing 11. Playing as follow as : Nash, Wright, Goodwin, Prior, Yards, Styris, Gatting, Amjad Khan, Beer, Liddle, Panesar. Go Sussex !!!

  • No featured comments at the moment.