Northamptonshire in firm control over Delray Rawlins’ Sussex
Delray Rawlins and his Sussex team-mates trail Northamptonshire by 181 runs with just six second innings wickets in hand after the visitors dominated the second of their LV= Insurance County Championship match at the County Ground.
Rawlins is due next in at No 7 but the hosts will be hoping the partnership between No 3 bat Stiaan van Zyl and captain Ben Brown can add significantly to the 86 runs they have already added before the stand is broken.
Van Zyl is on 71 going into the third day while Brown has 30 not out in the overnight total of 154 for four, after coming together when the score was 68.
They were together the last 106 minutes of the day, with Van Zyl facing 119 balls and hitting 11 fours.
Northamptonshire, 214 for five overnight, declared on 441 for nine with Saif Zaib scoring a classy maiden first-class century before Ben Sanderson and Gareth Berg knocked over the Sussex top order.
The left-handed Zaib, who has been at Northamptonshire since he was 15, stroked 135 in 262 minutes at the crease, hitting 15 fours before Rawlins trapped him lbw as he attempted a sweep.
Northants, well in the driver’s seat, will be looking to press home their advantage early today in the hopes of winning with a day to spare.
Rawlins, the seventh bowler used, claimed one for 53 from twelve overs. Zaib and Adam Rossington (87), put on 198 for the sixth wicket in taking the score from 148 to 346 to give the home team a comfortable 335-run first-innings lead.
Rob Keogh, batting at No 4, scored 66 from 86 balls with 11 fours. The runs kept coming in the tail end, too, with No 8 batsman Tom Taylor scoring 44 not out and Gareth Berg, the No 10 batsman, adding 38. He and Taylor put on 69 for the ninth wicket in 63 minutes.
Opener Ollie Robinson claimed five for 58 from 26 overs for Sussex who were then slowed up in their second innings when Sanderson and Berg, who shared all ten Sussex first innings wickets, claimed two scalps apiece to leave Sussex 68 for four.
However, Van Zyl and his captain helped Sussex recover to 154 for four at the close, still 181 more runs needed to make Northants bat again.
Faced with a big deficit, Sussex began their second innings with determination but soon collapsed to 68 for four against the seam of Sanderson and Berg who claimed two for 49 and two for 40 respectively.
Van Zyl was dropped on 19 but was otherwise comfortable in the stand with captain Brown.
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