Sussex v Somerset, Hove, 3rd day

Inspired Somerset close in on victory

David Hopps at Hove

April 29, 2014

Comments: 4 | Text size: A | A

Sussex 142 (Well 79*, Gregory 5-49) and 162 for 6 (Joyce 76*) trail Somerset 372 by 68 runs
Scorecard


Rory Hamilton-Brown was one of five wickets for Lewis Gregory, Sussex v Somerset, County Championship, Division One, Hove, 3rd day, April 29, 2014
Lewis Gregory claimed his second career five-for as Somerset ran through the hosts' batting © Getty Images
Enlarge

Somerset's delight at Marcus Trescothick's restatement of his batting pedigree translated into an excellent bowling display on the third day at Hove as they forced Sussex to follow on under heavy skies and then rounded upon them once more with such conviction on a sunlit evening that they even had the glimmer of a three-day victory.

Ultimately, Sussex survived but it was a hollow achievement with only four wickets remaining, still 68 runs needed to make Somerset bat again and the weather set fair for the final day. Somerset's domination of this match has been striking, their tread optimistic again, assumptions that they will again struggle to retain their Division One status thrown into question.

Sussex's openers met the challenge with pragmatism, but twice a flimsy middle order failed to meet the challenge. Luke Wells batted through Sussex's first innings for 79 with stately deliberation - the first batsman to achieve the feat for Sussex since Richard Montgomerie 10 years ago - and it would be no surprise if Ed Joyce, 76 not out at the close, matched the feat in the second innings. If that was to happen, it would be unprecedented in Sussex's history.

Conditions have favoured the bowlers throughout, although far from impossibly, and with every wicket that fell - 15 in all for 279 runs - Trescothick's second-day century grew in status. He even undertook wicketkeeping duties in Sussex's first innings, which is not a great career move for a heavily built man with ankles he regularly needs to plunge into ice buckets, but the task was forced upon him by Craig Kieswetter's absence with a stomach ailment and he stopped what came his way with an air of contentment.

Alex Barrow, summoned from Taunton as an emergency wicketkeeping replacement, finally arrived three overs into Sussex's second innings, which even allowing for the regular loss of wickets suggested he may have travelled by tractor.

From his emergency vantage point, shifting a couple of yards from his usual post at second slip, Trescothick had a slightly straighter view of Lewis Gregory's threat. "A batsman who bowled" was how his captain labelled Gregory, fairly enough, after his 47 batting at No 11 in Somerset's first innings, but the lively medium pace of the Batsman Who Bowls was always threatening on this surface and he returned the second five-for in a first-class career barely 200 overs old.

Gregory is a zestful all-round cricketer, whose emergence this season, at 21, would help to offset Somerset's limited fast-bowling resources. A Devonian and product of Plympton in the Devon League, he brims with attacking intent and can now begin to build on the promise he displayed when he made his debut against Pakistan nearly four years ago.

Alfonso Thomas must wonder about the sense of playing too much Championship cricket at 37 when the decks at Taunton are unforgivingly true, but his appetite must also have been whetted by heavy morning cloud cover.

Jamie Overton, too, allied decent pace at times to a more acceptable degree of accuracy than is sometimes evident. He is a hulking figure for a 20-year-old, powerful rather than lithe, the sort of man who could cause a midsummer traffic jam in Barnstaple by strolling across the main road. England like their fast bowlers gigantic and he looks as if he must cost a fortune to feed. He needs protective handling and the mere sight of him vaguely feeling his back once or twice was enough to bring a spark of concern.

Mark Robinson, Sussex's director of cricket, judged that batting became a little easier after around 35 overs but, by then, both innings were in terminal decline as batsmen fell to a collection of indifferent strokes. Michael Yardy's footwork was leaden and Gregory uprooted Ben Brown's stumps twice in one day. In the second innings, Rory Hamilton-Brown slapped a slower ball that sat up in the pitch straight to the leaping Nick Compton at cover. Matt Machan was unhinged by a climbing delivery from Gregory in the first innings but his second-innings departure was a tale of self-harm as he flicked him off his hip to deep square leg.

Ashar Zaidi also faces a Sussex investigation into his response when he was adjudged caught at the wicket off Overton in the first innings. It was not his display of disbelief towards umpire Nigel Llong, as unwelcome as that was, as much as the fact that he took to Twitter to comment "stinker #wtf," so becoming the latest sportsman to fall foul of the social networking site.

"I didn't think he showed any dissent," Robinson said. "He was just desperately disappointed as he didn't hit the ball. The umpires are two of the best in the business but you get wrong decisions from time to time." He was more critical of the Twitter escapade, however. "You can't be doing that sort of thing whether or not it was a good or bad decision," he said. A fine and a reprimand are likely to follow.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: David Hopps

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by siltbreeze on (April 30, 2014, 8:02 GMT)

Great to see Gregory do so well - he's always seemed a real talent but I think we've mishandled him somewhat over the last couple of years (is he a no.3 batsman, a one-day death bowling specialist or an opening red ball bowler?). In fact, Trescothick's comments suggest we're still a bit confused as to what he is. But with him, the two Overtons, Meschede, Dibble, Dockrell, Leach we've got really promising bowling stocks.

This would be a very welcome win, but I'm not getting carried away yet. Despite their strong start, Sussex might struggle this season. Their batting is over-reliant on Joyce, Yardy isn't getting any better, and who knows how Hamilton-Brown still gets into anyone's first team. Apparently Luke Wright was available for this game but, bizarrely, both the aforementioned were preferred. When the conditions cease to help Magoffin so much and Jordan leaves on England duty they could even be relegation candidates.

Posted by JG2704 on (April 29, 2014, 21:22 GMT)

Could not have gone better for Somerset today.

As a Plymothian I'm particularly pleased for Lewis Gregory.He showed promise a few seasons ago in the shorter formats but it seems that he is being entrusted in the 4 day game (maybe partly due to injuries) and is starting to deliver. The last wicket stand with Myburgh could prove to be as important as the 5 for. It seems that the future in the bowling dept might not be bleak at all. Batting may be a different matter. This will be a great win if things go to plan tomorrow and may kickstart the season after draws vs Durham and Yorks where we were on the wrong side of the bonus points despite having a 1st inns lead in 1 and looking favourites to win the other. I guess that's what happens when you fail or don't score quick enough in the 1st inns

Posted by   on (April 29, 2014, 21:15 GMT)

Wonderful performance by Somerset. Still another day to go, may be another twist. Get rid of Joyce in the morning and the game will be ours, come on Cidermen!!

Posted by   on (April 29, 2014, 19:42 GMT)

Well, well, well. After last years drubbing by Sussex, twice, this was a lovely surprise. The young bowling attack is looking better by the day. Gregory looks like a decent all rounder. Things are looking up for Somerset (and Nosworthy) all of a sudden. Getting an early season win in will do wonders for the confidence and then hopefully we can go on a bit of a roll. Just hope there isn't any unexpected rain about tomorrow to spoil things...

Comments have now been closed for this article

TopTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
David HoppsClose
David Hopps David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.
County Fixtures County Results
Group A: Derbyshire v Hampshire at Derby
Jul 26, 2014 (10:30 local | 09:30 GMT | 05:30 EDT | 04:30 CDT | 02:30 PDT)
Group B: Glamorgan v Middlesex at Cardiff
Jul 26, 2014 (10:30 local | 09:30 GMT | 05:30 EDT | 04:30 CDT | 02:30 PDT)
Group A: Lancashire v Yorkshire at Manchester
Jul 26, 2014 (14:00 local | 13:00 GMT | 09:00 EDT | 08:00 CDT | 06:00 PDT)
Group A: Gloucs v Northants at Cheltenham
Jul 27, 2014 (10:30 local | 09:30 GMT | 05:30 EDT | 04:30 CDT | 02:30 PDT)
Group A: Leics v Derbyshire at Leicester
Jul 27, 2014 (10:30 local | 09:30 GMT | 05:30 EDT | 04:30 CDT | 02:30 PDT)
Group B: Middlesex v Warwickshire at Lord's
Jul 27, 2014 (10:30 local | 09:30 GMT | 05:30 EDT | 04:30 CDT | 02:30 PDT)
Group B: Somerset v Durham at Taunton
Jul 27, 2014 (10:30 local | 09:30 GMT | 05:30 EDT | 04:30 CDT | 02:30 PDT)
Group B: Sussex v Notts at Horsham
Jul 27, 2014 (10:30 local | 09:30 GMT | 05:30 EDT | 04:30 CDT | 02:30 PDT)
Group B: Worcs v Essex at Worcester
Jul 27, 2014 (10:30 local | 09:30 GMT | 05:30 EDT | 04:30 CDT | 02:30 PDT)
Group B: Surrey v Glamorgan at Guildford
Jul 27, 2014 (11:00 local | 10:00 GMT | 06:00 EDT | 05:00 CDT | 03:00 PDT)
Group A: Lancashire v Hampshire at Manchester
Jul 27, 2014 (14:00 local | 13:00 GMT | 09:00 EDT | 08:00 CDT | 06:00 PDT)
Complete fixtures »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days