Rawlins hits half-century to steady innings
Delray Rawlins scored a half-century, his third of the season, to help Sussex recover from 32 for three to reach 150 for five on a rain-shortened first day of their final County Championship match of the season against Worcestershire at The 1st Central County Ground.
At the close of the second day yesterday, Sussex had reached 299 for eight from 85 overs before bad light again ended play early.
David Wiese and George Garton shared in an eighth-wicket stand of 96 before Wiese was bowled for 47. Garton finished the day on 59 not out from 68 balls.
The first half of the second day had been washed out, but Wiese and Garton made up for that after the overnight pair of Ben Brown and Tom Clark had fallen in successive overs.
Wiese struck a fluent 47 from 72 deliveries, with eight fours. But Garton was even more impressive, with a career-best unbeaten 59 which followed his maiden first-class half-century in the previous match against Derbyshire.
Fast bowler Garton wants to be recognised more as an all-rounder and he is pressing his claims with another good knock.
This time, he faced just 68 deliveries and hit nine fours in an innings that showed his timing as well as power.
He reached his fifty with a sumptuous extra-cover drive for four off Ed Barnard, who was bowling with the new ball.
“I’ve been out for a while with injuries so it’s nice to come back into the team and put in a few performances with the bat,” Garton said to the club’s website.
“I worked hard early season with Michael Yardy and it’s nice to see the fruits of that labour.
“I had a chat with the coach earlier on in the year and we identified my role more as that of an all-rounder, contributing with both the ball and the bat.
“I’m definitely progressing with the bat. It’s still my weaker strength, but I’m working on it.
“It’s been a very frustrating season with injuries. Nobody likes being injured, but injuries do happen to fast bowlers.
“To do the same injury twice was very frustrating, coming back and tearing my side again.”
The Worcestershire pace attack bowled well, but the surface was slow and then, towards the end of the day, they didn’t make the most of the new ball.
The day was further curtailed when the players left the field eight overs early because of bad light.
The left-handed Rawlins led the Sussex batting on day one as he shared in a fourth wicket stand of 94 with Stiaan van Zyl to bring up the hundred.
Sussex had earlier lost openers Luke Wells and Tom Haines for ducks, before van Zyl (56) and Rawlins (58) led the recovery before both departed in an afternoon session that was cut short by bad light.
Rain arrived shortly after, as the umpires abandoned play for the day at 4pm with only 50.4 overs bowled.
Worcestershire’s decision to bowl paid off as they struck with the wicket of Wells on the third ball of the innings when Wells was caught behind off Ed Barnard.
After a short stoppage for a shower, Haines was caught at mid-off before wicketkeeper Ben Cox took a superb diving catch in front of slips to remove Will Beer for seven to make it 32 for three.
Rawlins and van Zyl helped Sussex recover with an important stand, as Rawlins reigned in his attacking instincts as he took Sussex past 50 with successive boundaries off Charlie Morris, while van Zyl passed 50 for the sixth time this season off 91 balls with seven boundaries.
The partnership ended when van Zyl was superbly caught at mid-on. He faced 119 balls and hit eight fours.
Rawlins endured a physical battering, struck on the shoulder by Morris and then needing more treatment a few minutes later when he pulled a ball from Brett D’Oliveira into his midriff.
Rawlins drove the next ball from Adam Finch for his eighth boundary, but then slashed outside off stump and was caught when Daryl Mitchell clung on to a sharp chance at second slip.
Like van Zyl, Rawlins was frustrated to get out when seemingly well set. He faced 125 balls in 161 minutes at the crease.
England under-19 batsman Tom Clark, who has been in Sussex’s system since he was 10 years old, only had time to face one ball from Finch on his debut, a bouncer which he only just evaded, before the teams came off for bad light.
Sussex have rested both Phil Salt, who has been carrying a finger injury for much of the second half of the season, and Chris Jordan.
At the close of day one, van Zyl said; “It was nice to get some runs today, but I was disappointed to get out when I did because Delray and I had put together a good partnership.
“From a personal point of view, it’s been an OK season, but extremely frustrating from a team point of view.
“We haven’t put together enough complete batting performances as a batting unit, and hopefully the guys can go into their off-season, reflect on what they need to do and be better than we were this year.”
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