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Live video: Bright start for Sussex against Kent

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Fast bowler Jofra Archer marked his return to the Sussex first team with two wickets as bottom team Kent were dismissed for 145 on the opening day of their LV= Insurance County Championship match at the 1st Central County ground yesterday.

You beauty: Jofra Archer reacts to his second wicket in his comeback first-class match (Photograph courtesy of Sussex CCC/Getty Images)

Returning for his first match of the season, Archer claimed the wickets of Daniel Bell-Drummond and Zak Crawley in his first four overs with the new ball to give Sussex a good start.

Bermudian Delray Rawlins kept his place in the team as Sussex responded positively after three straight losses, and did his part in athletically cutting off several runs in the circle as the home bowlers applied the pressure.

Archer, who bowled two other short spells as he continues his recovery from injury, finished with two for 29 from 13 overs, while Ollie Robinson, who could join Archer in the England team for next month’s Test series against New Zealand, and George Garton both claimed three wickets.

Only Jack Leaning offered some resistance to some excellent bowling with his knock of 63. Sussex were 51 for two when bad light brought an early end to the first day.

Archer was bowling for the first time since March after recovering from finger surgery and an elbow injury that forced him to miss the end of England’s tour to India and the ultimately suspended Indian Premier League. He got the breakthrough with his thirteenth ball when Bell-Drummond edged to second slip, before also dismissing England team-mate Crawley, who nicked a brute of a ball to wicketkeeper Ben Brown.

Leaning and Jordan Cox added 59 in 22 overs either side of lunch before Kent lost eight wickets for 75 during an afternoon session interrupted by two rain delays.

Robinson, who has 28 first-class wickets this season, ended two hours of solid resistance from Cox when he knocked back his off stump, and in his next over debutant Tawanda Muyeye (1) was bowled, undone by late inswing.

Robinson returned after tea to dismiss Leaning, one of three catches held at slip by Aaron Thomason. Leaning had been dropped by Brown but went on to score his second half-century of the season in more than three hours, hitting eight fours.

Left-armer Garton also picked up three wickets before off spinner Jack Carson picked up two wickets at the end of the innings.

Sussex lost openers Tom Haines (14) and Thomason (21) in 16.3 overs before the light faded. Thomason fell three balls before the close, slashing to point in Nathan Gilchrist’s first over.

At the close, Archer spoke to the assembled media about his first match back: “It’s great to play again with [Sussex] lads who I’ve played with nearly all of my career.

“I bowl to Zak Crawley in the [England] nets and I have done that quite a bit. Obviously, you’re never out in the nets, so it was good to get him out here, with umpires.

“Hopefully Ollie Robinson will get his [England] chance this summer. We all know what he can do; he’s a talented bowler and his stats prove that.”

Archer added: “My fitness is fine. I thought I bowled OK. I played in the second team last week and it’s good to get some confidence. I felt fine.

“I bowled in short spells for protection in case we had a long day, but it was overcast, which helped a bit.”

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Published May 14, 2021 at 7:26 am (Updated May 14, 2021 at 7:26 am)

Live video: Bright start for Sussex against Kent

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