Delray Rawlins strokes breezy 42 as Sussex start strong against Lancashire
Delray Rawlins missed out on a half-century against Lancashire yesterday on the opening day of their LV= Insurance County Championship match at the 1st Central County Ground when he departed for 42 as Sussex reached 318 for seven at stumps.
The 23-year-old Bermudian joined captain Ben Brown at 197 for four in the last over before tea. Brown already had 20 runs on the board but the left-handed Rawlins dominated the 62-run partnership.
Rawlins was out four balls after hitting his second six when he drove a short ball from wrist spinner Matt Parkinson straight to Luke Wells at extra cover to make it 259 for five.
Rawlins had four fours to go with his two sixes, including one off Parkinson over long-on. He punched his bat in frustration at being dismissed in the final over before the second new ball was taken. It was, however, his highest score of the early season.
Brown, on 38 at Rawlins’s dismissal, departed 16 runs later when he fell for 46, trapped leg-before by seamer Danny Lamb. He faced 97 balls and hit just two boundaries in his 146 minutes at the crease. He also scored 46 in the second innings of last week’s defeat to Yorkshire.
Earlier, Stiaan van Zyl, batting at No 3, led the batting with 79 while opener Tom Haines scored 58, his fourth half-century of the season. He has now scored 455 runs in seven innings.
Haines and van Zyl put on 133 for the second wicket after Haines lost opening partner Aaron Thomason without scoring with just six runs on the board.
Tom Clark, batting at No 4, added 30 after being dropped on nought and then needing a medical check after being struck in the helmet when he ducked into a short ball from Lambe and lost part of his helmet.
George Garton, who replaced Rawlins, was 30 not out at the close after adding 26 in an unbroken eighth-wicket stand of 26 with Jack Carson (13) to take Sussex past the 300 mark and earn a third batting bonus point.
Tom Bailey, who took the new ball, was the only Lancashire bowler to claim more than one wicket, finishing the opening day with three for 69 from 23 overs.
“I think we would have taken that score at the start of play, but quite a few of us got starts including myself,” Haines told the official Sussex website.
“We've talked as a squad about one of the top order going big if they get in and that didn't happen, but I still feel we are in the game because there is definitely a bit in the wicket for the bowlers.
“I'm obviously pleased with how the season has started. It was a tough challenge today and I didn't feel as comfortable as I have done this season but I thought I came through it well.”
• Sussex will take part in cricket's social-media boycott that will take place from 3pm today until 11.59pm on Monday.
All 18 first-class counties, as well as the eight regional women's teams, the England and Wales Cricket Board and the Professional Cricketers' Association are all participating in the boycott as cricket stands in support of the football community in making it clear that no one should have to suffer abuse, racism or harassment on social media.
“Social media plays an important role in connecting supporters with clubs and players, but more must be done to end the appalling abuse that is seen all too often via this medium,” Sussex said on their website.