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Delray Rawlins makes return to red-ball cricket for Sussex with heavy innings defeat

Delray Rawlins returned to the Sussex four-day team in an innings defeat by Middlesex

Delray Rawlins and his Sussex team-mates suffered a heavy innings defeat at the hands of Middlesex in the LV= Insurance County Championship at the 1st Central County Ground, despite captain Tom Haines becoming the first batsman to score 1,000 championship runs this season for the home team.

Rawlins, recalled to the Sussex four-day team team for the first time since the end of May, had a seven-ball duck at No 8 in the first innings as the home side, in reply to Middlesex’s record 676 for five declared, were dismissed for 319 on their way to defeat by an innings and 54 runs.

Rawlins, batting at No 9 in the second innings after Sussex had used a nightwatchman at the end of day three, scored 18 yesterday in 32 minutes at the crease. He hit a four and a six, as he shared in an eighth-wicket stand of 33 with Oli Carter, who finished with 31 not out as Sussex fell for 303 in 89.2 overs.

The 22-year-old Haines had a dogged performance at the top of the innings, as he scored a career-best 156 in the first innings and 87 in the second.

Fynn Hudson-Prentice added 81 with Haines for the sixth wicket and scored a half-century himself (67) as Sussex tried to salvage a draw. But leg spinner Luke Hollman followed his five wickets in the first innings by taking five for 90 in the second to finish with career-best match figures of ten for 155.

The hosts were still 269 runs in arrears at the start of the final day. They lost George Garton in the fifth over when he edged a Hollman ball to wicketkeeper John Simpson and was out for 17.

Then Haines tried to drive Hollman down the ground, only to sky a catch to Thilan Walallawita at long-off. He faced 170 balls and hit eight fours in taking his aggregate to 1,030 runs at an average of 51.96.

Carter and Rawlins showed some defiance with their stand of 33 before Tim Murtagh, the Middlesex captain, quickly struck with the second new ball when he tempted Rawlins with a short ball that the left-hander pulled into the hands of Hollman at deep mid-wicket. Middlesex wrapped up victory soon after Sussex reached 300.

Rawlins bowled 27 overs in the solitary Middlesex innings, taking one for 110 as the sixth of seven bowlers used as Middlesex enjoyed a good first two days at the crease. Opener Sam Robson was top bat with 253 while fellow opener Mark Stoneham added 174 in a first-wicket stand of 376 in 85.3 overs as Middlesex posted the highest championship total of the season.

Robbie White scored 110 not out at No 4 and Martin Andersson 88.

Haines expressed disappointment that his team could not salvage a draw. “We genuinely believed when we turned up today that we could get a draw but we didn't bat well enough on the last two days which is disappointing because there was enough skill in our dressing room to have batted through and got the draw,” he said.

"There were a few poor shots and lapses in concentration from us. I'm not taking anything away from their bowling but we did give them a few wickets which we didn't need to. Personally, I feel very proud to have reached 1,000 runs because I have worked extremely hard so it's a nice moment for me."

Murtagh, the Middlesex captain, said: "I don't think it gets much better than that in terms of a team win. We smashed the record for the highest team score and then there were the individual performances of Sam Robson, Mark Stoneman and Luke Hollman. To go on and win the game as comprehensively as we did is the most pleasing thing.“

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Published September 10, 2021 at 7:56 am (Updated September 10, 2021 at 7:51 am)

Delray Rawlins makes return to red-ball cricket for Sussex with heavy innings defeat

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