Sussex v Kent
Fri 14th Apr - Mon 17th Apr 2017 at 11:00
Specsavers County Championship Div 2
Kent win by 226 runs
Half-centuries for Sean Dickson, Darren Stevens and Wayne Parnell helped Kent gain three bonus points as Sussex paceman Jofra Archer grabbed seven wickets on day one of the Specsavers County Championship match at Hove.
Sam Northeast won the toss and opted to bat under cloudy skies at the seaside with Sean Dickson hitting his seventh 50 in his 25th County Championship innings.
Matt Coles struck shortly before stumps to leave the hosts on 11-1 in reply to Kent’s 304 all out.
Barbados-born Archer was the pick of the home attack and removed both openers. At the other end, Ajmal Shahzad picked up three wickets as a 123-run stand between Stevens and the returning Parnell pushed Kent in bonus point territory.
Bell-Drummond, Denly (who passed 9,000 first class career runs) and Rouse were bowled without playing a shot as the seamers extracted movement through the air and off the pitch.
Dickson batted patiently to see off the new ball and score eight fours and a six in his 179-ball stay before nicking behind to Sussex gloveman Ben Brown.
Northeast and Gidman were caught at mid-on as shot-making proved difficult before Kent recovered from to 152 for six to post 304.
Stevens struck 11 fours and a six in his 72nd first-class 50 before Parnell repeated the feat off 88 balls to record his eleventh red-ball half-century.
Archer returned to take the new ball and clean up the tail as Sussex’s South African international debutants Vernon Philander and Stiaan van Zyl finished wicketless.
At stumps, the hosts reached 11-1 after facing six testing overs from Matt Coles and Parnell. Coles trapped veteran opener Chris Nash LBW.
Mitch Claydon took four wickets as Kent gained a slender lead after Sussex’s tail wagged on day two of the Specsavers County Championship match at Hove.
Wickets fell in pairs with Wayne Parnell demolishing Harry Finch’s stumps and finding the outside edge of nightwatchman Ajmal Shahzad to reduce the hosts to 25 for three.
Claydon opened his account by removing Stiaan van Zyl and Laurie Evans caught at slip by Will Gidman and behind by wicketkeeper Adam Rouse respectively.
After lunch, Coles picked up a second wicket and the scalp of Luke Wright (caught behind) before Parnell broke the resistance of debutant Delroy Rawlins.
David Wiese and Ben Brown added 53 for the seventh wicket before Claydon picked up the wickets of Wiese (caught at square leg by sub fielder Charlie Hartley) and Philander (caught Northeast) with the score on 192 before a mammoth last stand.
Jofra Archer struck ten boundaries in a brisk unbeaten 60 and Brown struck twelve fours to reach 90 before Matt Coles trapped him LBW.
In reply, Daniel Bell-Drummond struck a brisk 35 before he and Joe Denly (3) were dismissed in quick succession.
The opener was adjudged LBW off the bowling of Shahzad before Denly’s off stump was dislodged by the same Sussex bowler.
Kent reached 82 for two at the close, a lead of 95 with Sean Dickson unbeaten on 34 and nightwatchman James Tredwell on one not out.
Skipper Sam Northeast hit an unbeaten 173 supported by fifties from Sean Dickson and Darren Stevens as Kent earned a big lead on the third day of the Specsavers County Championship match at Hove.
Resuming on 82/2, opener Sean Dickson reached his 8th first class 50 in a stand of 30 with James Tredwell before nightwatchman was bowled by former South Africa all-rounder David Wiese.
Northeast started his innings in beautiful boundaries, driving Wiese down the ground for a succession of finely stuck fours as he attempted to overtake the defiant Dickson, who departed LBW for 89 to an Ajmal Shahzad delivery that kept low.
The captain reached his 17th first class century off 123 balls including 12 fours with Darren Stevens reaching his 73rd 50 in red-ball cricket.
Northeast freed his arms after reaching the landmark, smashing seven boundaries and four sixes after he reached three figures as Kent pushed past 400.
Stevens clubbed two sixes and seven fours of his own in a brisk 71 before the umpires called a halt to play due to bad light.
Speaking at stumps, the Kent skipper said; “We are in pole position going into tomorrow and it will be interesting to see if the wicket does deteriorate because it felt today’s batting conditions were the best of the match.
“The new ball will be crucial. If we can start well and keep grinding out the wickets we can hopefully get another win. We are in a good position because we have the luxury of having attacking fields with the runs we have on the board.
“My preparation has been a bit weird, with playing a lot of white-ball cricket in Dubai in the North v South series. I then had a bit of a hamstring injury so I’ve come into the season a bit undercooked in terms of red-ball cricket. So, to get the score I’ve got and feel good at the crease feels very satisfying.
“They are a bowler down and they were tired at the end so Darren Stevens and I thought we’d take advantage and push the game forward.”
Darren Stevens’ 14th first class five-wicket haul ripped out the Sussex top order before Mitch Claydon, Matt Coles and Wayne Parnell helped wrap up a 226-run win at Hove.
Kent moved to within a point of the top of the Specsavers County Championship table with 22 points after an overnight declaration left the hosts facing a target of 427 for an unlikely win.
Sussex counter-attacked in the early overs bowled by Parnell and Coles with the opening stand of 59 before the veteran Stevens struck five times before lunch to round off a wonderful all-round display.
The openers looked comfortable until Finch played a loose shot to a wide one before Nash nicked behind to Rouse to start a collapse.
Nash was the first of five wickets to fall for 17 runs in eight overs. Kolpak signing Stiaan van Zyl was next to fall, edging Stevens to slip before the veteran all-rounder trapped Laurie Evans LBW for 0.
Mitch Claydon grabbed Kent’s sixth when Luke Wright was adjudged leg-before.
After successive half-centuries, Stevens and Claydon stifled the scoring and left the hosts reeling on 93 for six at the interval.
Ben Brown, Sussex’s standout batsman in the match, was stranded on 69 not out as the last four wickets fell to catches.
Coles returned at the Sea end and tempted former South Africa all-rounder David Wiese into hooking to Daniel Bell-Drummond at deep square leg.
His compatriot Vernon Philander soon followed – picking out Joe Denly at mid-wicket before Jofra Archer nicked him to sub fielder Adam Ball at slip.
Kent’s overseas import Wayne Parnell wrapped up the win as he tempted Ajmal Shahzad to square cut to Denly at point.
Kent captain Sam Northeast said: “We played some really good cricket last year and now we’ve gone up another notch.
“Darren bowled an unbelievable spell. He just keeps on doing it. He’s got fantastic skill with the ball. He set it all up. He’s got a fantastic wrist. He can nip it both ways holding the seam up. He bowled hardly any bad balls. He’s not the quickest but he’s got unbelievable skill.
“Mitch Claydon backed it up and then Matt Coles bowled a really good spell at the end. We didn’t have a very good half-hour with the new ball but after that we were relentless and put in a great spell.
“Our bowling attack has got some really good variety. Claydon slams the wicket, the same with Coles, and then we have the left-arm variety with Wayne Parnell and the spin of James Tredwell. It’s a nice attack for me to call on.”