Delray Rawlins helps to steady Sussex with busy 18 on opening day
Delray Rawlins helped Sussex to recover from a disastrous start to go on to post 291 for nine on the opening day of the LV= Insurance County Championship match against Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford.
The visitors found themselves reeling at 14 for three and then 40 for four after winning the toss and electing to bat.
However, Rawlins and the in-form Tom Haines steadied the ship, adding 62 runs in 14 overs to bring up the hundred.
Bermuda all-rounder Rawlins let his intentions be known right from the outset as he got off the mark with a beautifully straight-driven four off opening bowler Tom Bailey.
(You can see Rawlins start batting at 1:39:13 in the video.)
But an innings that featured some excellent running between the stumps and promised much ended when he was dismissed leg-before without offering a shot to a Luke Wood inswinger after making 18 from 36 balls, which included two boundaries. (The end of his innings is at around 3:25:00.)
Haines led the Sussex fightback, blasting 20 boundaries on the way to a career-best innings of 155 from 263 balls, his second successive century in the championship.
The opening bat added 126 for the seventh wicket along with Ollie Robinson, the vice-captain, who chipped in with an equally vital 59 from 116 balls that contained seven fours and a six.
"It was a tough day, we had to graft for our runs and I’m chuffed to bits with that score,“ Haines told Sussex’s official website. ”They gave us nothing in that first spell.
“I was lucky when that chance went down, but we’re a club that really needs to stick together and show fight. I think we’ve done that today.“
He added: “Ollie Robinson helped me, but so did Delray.
“You get into trouble if you go searching on 99, and I just had to wait for the bad ball.
“The career-best wasn’t on my mind, but then I heard a clap on 125 and I thought ‘oh, it’s that one’.”
Sussex’s day came full circle as they suffered another collapse shortly before close of play as three wickets fell for 37 runs, among them Haines and Robinson.
Last pair Stuart Meaker and debutant Sean Hunt saw out the remaining 2.4 overs of the day’s play without further damage.
Bailey made the most of the new ball on the way to figures of three for 41, with fellow seamers Saqib Mahmood, Danny Lamb and Wood claiming two each.
Play resumes tomorrow.