August 16, 2000

ECB examine Eastbourne pitch after 19 wickets on day one

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PPP Healthcare County Championship

Sussex face the possibility of censure or even a points deduction from the ECB after 19 wickets fell on the first day of their second division match against Northamptonshire at Eastbourne.

A statement is expected this morning after deliberations between pitch inspector Mike Denness, who was at the Saffrons all day, and the umpires over a well grassed, but dry surface.

Bowlers on both sides benefitted from ideal conditions for swing bowling with Sussex's James Kirtley passing 50 wickets for the season when he claimed a season's best 6-41 as the second division leaders were bowled out for 110.

New ball partner Jason Lewry supported him with 3-38 with only Russell Warren, who made 151 when the teams met a week ago, top-scoring with a gritty 29 off 81 balls.

Sussex's batsmen found the going just as tough when they replied and only a superb innings from skipper Chris Adams prevented them conceding a first innings deficit.

They were struggling on 83-6 after tea, but Adams put on 55 for the next two wickets with Nick Wilton and Kirtley as he reached his sixth half-century of the season. Adams finished unbeaten on 82, made off 135 balls with 13 boundaries, with Sussex 151-9, a lead of 41.

Principal support came from Tony Cottey, who made 17 in a fourth wicket stand of 43, and wicketkeeper Nick Wilton (14).