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Marshall signs off by helping Gloucestershire earn draw

Gloucestershire 229 (Dent 90, Payne 56) and 337 for 7 dec (Mustard 90, Marshall 77, Dent 55, Briggs 5-93) drew with Sussex 435 (Brown 118*, Wells 75, Nash 66, Shaw 5-79, Miles 4-109)
Scorecard

Hamish Marshall played his part in guiding Gloucestershire to an unlikely draw in their final Specsavers County Championship game of the season against Sussex in Bristol.

Playing his last game for the county, after more than a decade of service, the 37-year-old New Zealander struck 77 between mid-morning and mid-afternoon to lay the foundations for a decent day's batting from the host county.

In the end, his 135-run partnership, for the sixth wicket, with wicketkeeper Phil Mustard, was the difference between losing and ending the campaign with a share of the spoils.

Resuming on their overnight total of 88 for 3, Gloucestershire still required another 119 second innings runs to make Sussex bat again. When they lost nightwatchman Josh Shaw and opener Chris Dent inside the opening 15 minutes of the final day, a heavy defeat looked the most likely conclusion to a game dominated by the visitors. Slow left-armer Danny Briggs took both wickets at 92 for 4 and 99 for 5.

The departure of Dent, who had passed 50 off 112 balls with five fours, seemed to turn the game on its head. Marshall, determined to go out with a bang, and Mustard, whose loan from Durham was to finish in style, batted with patience and panache as Sussex struggled on a wicket that was, once again, starting to flatten out.

Marshall reached his half century off 62 balls, with five fours and a six, with Mustard providing solid support.

Eventually, Marshall played one shot too many and became Briggs' third victim of the day, caught by Chris Nash for 77 off 97 balls with one six and nine fours.

Mustard continued where his partner left off and with allrounder Jack Taylor, added a valuable 53 for the seventh wicket. Taylor, who was dropped by Jofra Archer on 14, off the bowling of Steve Magoffin, went on to make 33 before holing out to Tom Haines off a mightily relieved Archer.

Mustard kept his calm at the opposite end and Sussex continued to hit a brick wall. The experienced left hander pushed and poked his way closer to three figures, with Craig Miles, at the opposite end, providing adequate support.

In the end, the two sides shook hands at 4.20 with Gloucestershire, on 337 for 7, having successfully thwarted the visitors. Mustard ended the day unbeaten on 89 with Miles 16 not out. Together the pair added an unbeaten 50 for the eighth wicket and that was good enough.