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Sussex seize the initiative at Hove

Sussex seize the initiative at Hove

Sussex hold the upper hand after two days of this fluctuating LV= Insurance County Championship match took another twist during a dramatic afternoon at Hove.

Lancashire looked to be well placed at tea on 128-1 in reply to the hosts 328 all out but that all changed during the final session as Sussex, led by 20 year-old spinner Jack Carson, took five quick wickets to rock the Red Rose before Josh Bohannon and Danny Lamb negotiated their way to the close on 189-6, but still 139 runs in arrears.

The day had started well for Lancashire with Lamb instrumental in finishing off the Sussex innings inside the first half hour.

Having expressed disappointment at not bowling Sussex out yesterday, the Red Rose bowlers would have been somewhat cheered when the hosts lost their three remaining wickets for 10 runs inside thirty minutes at the start of the morning.

And it was a one-man show as Lamb (3-59) had a hand in all three dismissals.

First the all-rounder hit the top of Carson’s off stump after nipping one back. He then deflected George Garton’s straight drive onto the stumps at the bowler’s end in his follow through to run out the unfortunate Henry Crocombe, and finished by having Garton well caught for 35 at fine leg by Saqib Mahmood to end the Sussex innings on 328.

In reply Keaton Jennings and Alex Davies started watchfully, happy to slowly accumulate runs, with 38 on the board with the only boundary struck by Davies moments before rain ended the morning session early at 12.35pm.

The pair continued in similar vein when play resumed at 1.50pm reaching their fifty partnership from 127 balls with Jennings starting to play some authoritative square cuts and drives.

And the openers continued to give Lancashire a great platform as they steadily extended their partnership to 93 during the afternoon, the highest for the first wicket this season.

But the introduction of Jack Carson started to turn the day around for the home side.

Davies bottom-edged the Irish off-spinner onto his stumps after making 34 but Luke Wells, returning to his former county, soon played a lovely front foot drive for four off Jamie Atkins to bring up the Red Rose hundred.

Jennings went to his first half-century of the season from 125 balls shortly before tea but was relieved to have survived edged chances from consecutive Garton deliveries in the last over before the break.

Wells also had a moment of fortune although it would have been a stunning catch if Carson, at third man, had managed to pull it off-the fielder throwing the ball in the air as he fell over the boundary but unable to get up in time to complete the catch.

That lively finish to the afternoon still left Lancashire well placed on 128-1 but that changed as five wickets fell for 15 runs in 9 disastrous overs at the start of the evening session.

Carson, who took five Yorkshire wickets here last week, was the instigator when he had Jennings caught at slip by Stiaan van Zyl for 60.

Wells square cut Stuart Meaker for four but then nicked an edge to wicketkeeper Ben Brown in the same over after making 28.

Carson then found the edge of Steven Croft’s bat; Brown needing two attempts to safely hang on to the catch.

And matters quickly got worse for Lancashire when Dane Vilas played-on from his fourth ball faced to give Jamie Atkins his maiden first-class wicket while Liam Livingstone turned his fourth delivery from Carson (4-50) to Aaron Thomason at short leg to leave the Red Rose 152-6.

Josh Bohannon (26 not out) and Danny Lamb (18 not out) fought with great determination to successfully halt the hosts’ momentum with a valiant unbroken 41-run partnership during the final hour and steer Lancashire through to stumps on 193-6.

Ken Grime

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