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Rawlins retains place in Sussex first team

Place retained: Delray Rawlins

Delray Rawlins has retained his place in Sussex’s first team for their four-day Specsavers County Championship match at home to Northamptonshire which begins tomorrow at The 1st Central County Ground.

The Bermudian all-rounder shone with both bat and ball in a losing cause during Sussex’s previous outing in the championship at home to Durham to capitalise on his first team opportunity as a late inclusion to Jason Gillespie’s squad.

Rawlins hammered 56 in the first innings, reaching his third first-class fifty with a huge six over long-on, and put on 109 for the eighth wicket with David Wiese which is a record between the two sides.

The 21-year-old also claimed three for 19 with his left-arm spin in the first innings and stroked an unbeaten 20 in the second innings before Durham secured victory after tea on the final day of the match.

“It was nice to get an opportunity and cash in and show what I can do,” Rawlins said.

“The ball is coming out really well and I’m also hitting the ball really well so I was happy with how I’m moving.

“However, disappointed with us losing but hopefully we can bounce back and turn it around next week.”

Gillespie, the former Australian fast bowler, has added to his squad since their crushing 196-run loss to Durham as Essex batsman Varun Chopra has joined the club on loan.

The 32-year-old is a vastly experienced opening batsman with over 10,000 first class runs at an average of nearly 35 in 187 matches since his debut as an 18-year-old in 2006.

He scored his maiden first-class century on Championship debut in the same season and has gone on to make a further 19 hundreds.

“Good signing for us, serious player,” Rawlins said. “I’m sure he will contribute for us with both bat and in the field.”

Chopra, 32, will be available for Sussex’s next outing in the championship against Northamptonshire.