Pair for Delray Rawlins as Sussex crash to innings defeat
Delray Rawlins bagged his first pair as a professional cricketer as Sussex were beaten by an innings and 120 runs by Northamptonshire on the final day of their LV= Insurance County Championship match in Northampton yesterday.
Rawlins, who faced only five balls on Friday, survived eight yesterday before edging his ninth to be caught behind off seam bowler Gareth Berg.
Sussex started the fourth day on 154 for four after heavy rain meant no play was possible on Saturday. Still, Northamptonshire won with two sessions to spare after taking just 20.2 overs to claim the final six wickets and dismiss the visiting side for 215 in 63.2 overs.
Overnight pair Stiaan van Zyl (71) and captain Ben Brown (30) added only five runs to the total when van Zyl was out for 72, seven balls into the day, to make it 159 for five. Their stand produced 91, easily Sussex’s biggest of the match after a disappointing first-innings total of 106.
Rawlins was out one run and three overs later as Northamptonshire tightened their grip on the game, with Berg and new-ball partner Ben Sanderson sharing 19 wickets in the match.
Veteran Berg, 40, claimed career-best match figures of nine for 90, while Sanderson took ten for 99, with five-wicket hauls in both innings. He took five for 71 from 22 overs in the second innings while Berg claimed four for 72 from 21.
Brown was seventh out for 39, trapped leg-before by Berg for the second time in the match, while all-rounder Ollie Robinson offered late resistance with a brisk 23 from 25 balls. He scored 49 in the first innings and claimed five wickets in the only Northamptonshire innings.
Robinson was out lbw to Sanderson to one that nipped back off the seam, as the former Yorkshire seamer claimed the fifteenth five-for of his first-class career.
Victory was wrapped up when Tom Taylor bowled Jack Carson, as Sussex lost their last six wickets for 61 runs in 123 balls in the morning session.
It was Northants’ first victory by an innings since April 2017, while Sussex’s winless run at Wantage Road was extended to 12 games. Their last success there was in 1994.
“The game plan is very simple for us, we always just smash it at the wickets and it paid off,” Berg told the official Sussex website afterwards.
“If we find the edges then great, as we are catching them at the moment, but it is a simple game plan.
“Someone mentioned to me I was described as a Rolls-Royce on commentary. I believe I’m more of a 1969 Ford Mustang; I’m not a big fan of the Rolls-Royce!
“This is 15 months of hard work but it does help finding form again and I am back to where I was about four years ago.”
Ian Salisbury, the Sussex head coach, admitted the heavy loss was tough to take. “I don’t like losing. We had our pants pulled down here,” he told BBC Sussex Sport.
“Fair play to their two lads with 19 wickets between them. They hit the top of off [stump] really well which, outside of Ollie Robinson, we didn’t do well enough.
“You can’t get bowled out for 106 and barely 200. There weren’t too many demons in the pitch second time around.
“Yes, they bowled well but you have to recognise the two bowlers you have to get through. They aren’t bowling 90mph or mystery, but just good honest bowlers.
“Did we sell our wickets dearly enough? From the sidelines, it didn’t look like we did.”
Salisbury promised an improvement in the next match. “Whenever you have a loss, it is good to get back on the horse,” he said.
“We’ll be looking at how we can win the next game. This game aside we had two close games, so this one is pretty disappointing.”
Sussex are next in action starting on Thursday at home to Kent in a match-up of the bottom two teams in group three. However, Kent have won the past five first-class meetings.