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RESULT
31st Match, Hove, June 23 - 26, 2024, County Championship Division Two
442 & 296/6d
(T:464) 275 & 445

Sussex won by 18 runs

Report

Louis Kimber's 243 from 127 rewrites record books as Leicestershire fall agonisingly short

Record 43-run over triggers extraordinary run-chase before Sussex cling on for 18-run win

Louis Kimber brought up a speedy century, Sussex vs Leicestershire, County Championship, Day 4, Hove, June 26, 2024

Louis Kimber smashed 21 sixes in an astonishing double-century  •  Leicestershire CCC

Sussex 442 and 296 for 6 dec (Alsop 81*, Hunt 65, Currie 2-28) beat Leicestershire 275 and 445 (Kimber 243, Coles 3-95, Carson 3-99) by 18 runs
Leicestershire's Louis Kimber rewrote the record books with an astonishing 243, but it came in a losing cause against Sussex in Hove.
The 27-year-old Kimber produced one of the most memorable innings in County Championship history, scoring the fastest double-hundred in terms of balls faced (100), hitting the most sixes (21), and scoring the most runs in an over when he plundered 43 off England seamer Ollie Robinson.
Kimber was last out when he dragged a legcutter from Nathan McAndrew on to his stumps, leaving last man Josh Hull at the other end, as Sussex squeezed home by 18 runs to strengthen their position at the top of the second division. Kimber faced just 127 balls and 206 of his runs came in boundaries with 20 fours and 21 sixes, breaking Ben Stokes' Championship record of 17 sixes set in 2022.
Every Sussex player warmly congratulated Kimber, and his team-mates and the backroom staff from the two sides formed a guard of honour as he walked off to a standing ovation.
It was also the third time in three years that a Leicestershire batter had scored a double-hundred in this fixture.
What made it even more remarkable was Kimber's record until today. He made his only previous century against Sussex in 2022 and averages a modest 24.46, but he cut, pulled and drove the Sussex attack to distraction in an uninhibited exhibition of power and timing in the fourth-highest score by a No. 8 in first-class cricket.
He offered a difficult chance on 17 to Tom Alsop at slip, which burst through the fielder's hands and Jack Carson nearly hung on to a ball struck with ferocious power over deep midwicket, which took Kimber to 150. But otherwise there was very little Sussex's bowlers could do to stop the onslaught.
Kimber was circumspect initially and scored 26 off his first 30 balls before a calculated assault on offspinner Carson, whom he hit for 20 in an over, took him to a 37-ball fifty.
As he began targeting the short scoreboard-side boundary, Kimber forced Sussex skipper John Simpson to revert to his most experienced seamer. Robinson conceded four runs in his first two overs but then Kimber cut loose in his third as Robinson persisted in bowling short and Kimber took up the challenge.
There were nine balls in the over, with Robinson overstepping three times, and Kimber struck two sixes and six fours, the fifth of which he cut low past cover to bring up a 62-ball hundred. Even when Robinson belatedly went fuller in length, Kimber made room to smash him through the covers before quietly taking a single off the last ball to keep the strike after Robinson switched to around the wicket.
It broke the previous record for runs scored in a Championship over, of 38 by Lancashire's Andrew Flintoff off Surrey's Alex Tudor in 1998 and Surrey's Dan Lawrence off Worcestershire's Shoaib Bashir just two days ago.
As the carnage continued, Kimber flayed his next 50 runs from just 19 deliveries. In the penultimate over before lunch, Fynn Hudson-Prentice was taken for 20 and the session produced 216 runs in 29 overs.
Robinson returned after lunch at the sea end but Kimber went to his double-hundred by swatting him over long-on for his 17th six. The stand had been worth 239 in just 27 overs - a new Leicestershire eighth-wicket record - when Robinson pinned Ben Cox with an inswinger, Cox having contributed 34.
When Ben Mike lobbed a simple catch to mid-off, Leicestershire needed 29 to win and with Hull, who averages 3.25, for company, Kimber had no option but to go for broke. His 21st six off Robinson sailed over long-on but in the next over McAndrew had the final word.

Kimber cracks Robinson for 43 runs in an over

Here's how ESPNcricinfo's ball-by-ball commentary recorded a moment of history:
58.1 Robinson to Kimber, SIX runs
Bouncer from Robinson, angled in at the body, but Kimber leans back on the ball as it gets big on him, and blats it magnificently over backward square leg!
58.2 Robinson to Kimber, (no ball) FOUR runs
Another bouncer, and a similar result! Kimber rocks back and hauls his pull through square leg with less elevation this time, and Robinson has overstepped too! Six more to the total...
58.2 Robinson to Kimber, FOUR runs
A change of approach on the short ball this time, as Kimber makes room to leg, anticipates the angle into his body once more, and slaps a slog through deep third! He was aiming more towards midwicket, but that skims away to the rope
58.3 Robinson to Kimber, SIX runs
Robinson persists with the short ball, and gets punished again! A solid pull, up into the stroke, flies high over backward square for another six! Robinson winces, but the boundary rider was nowhere near that!
58.4 Robinson to Kimber, FOUR runs
Another pre-emptive shuffle to the leg-side, Robinson follows his movements with another short ball into the body, but Kimber's eye is in and no mistake! Clawed out through midwicket for yet another boundary!
58.5 Robinson to Kimber, (no ball) FOUR runs
What a dismissive way to reach a century! Robinson is just serving it up on a plate right now, more predictable lift into the right-hander, but Kimber leans back and rifles a flat cut through the covers, front leg hovering after impact. That was utterly smoked. 62 balls for the hundred!
58.5 Robinson to Kimber, FOUR runs
Short again, outside off this time, Kimber claws through another pull and though he doesn't time this quite so well, there's no-one around to intercept at mid- or long-on!
58.6 Robinson to Kimber, (no ball) FOUR runs
Finally, a fuller length as Robinson fires in an attempted yorker, but Kimber is so wise to this one! Opening his stance to drive elegantly out from under his eyeline through the covers, and it's another no-ball! This over has gone for more than 40 already!
58.6 Robinson to Kimber, 1 run
Round the wicket, desperately seeking an end to this horror-over, and Robinson's ignominy is done. Another short ball, but Kimber can't line up the new angle into his ribs, and can only scuff a pull to square leg. But that is still 43 off the over!

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