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Delray Rawlins has the final word despite heavy Sussex defeat

Delray Rawlins sweeps during his top knock of 58 in the Sussex second innings. Sussex lost their final match of the season to Derbyshire by nine wickets yesterday (Photograph courtesy of Sussex CCC)

Delray Rawlins’s highest score of the season could not prevent Sussex from losing to Derbyshire by nine wickets with more than a day to spare yesterday in their LV= Insurance County Championship match at the 1st Central County Ground.

Rawlins, who came to the crease at 105 for five in the second innings after Sussex were dismissed for 300 and forced to follow on, was top batsman with 58 from 46 balls in a second-innings team score of 187. The left-hander batted for 61 minutes and hit nine fours and two sixes before he was last out, stumped by Brooke Guest off part-time off spinner Wayne Madsen while going for an extravagant switch hit.

Derbyshire, who began their second innings after the tea interval needing 23 for victory, achieved it for the loss of opener Harry Came for four, bowled by Henry Crocombe after he shouldered his arms to a ball that cut back.

Matthew Critchley, promoted up the order in the second innings, scored 15 as he also achieved an important milestone for the season, 1,000 runs in the championship. He was the fifth batsmen to reach that mark, timing it perfectly as he had to score the last ten runs needed for victory and did so off Danial Ibrahim’s second over with successive fours and then two runs to wrap up the win.

Sussex, trailing by 210 runs with four wickets in hand when the third day began, added just 45 runs in the morning session as Derbyshire claimed their last four wickets in 13.4 overs.

Ben Brown added only seven runs to his overnight 150 before being first out, edging to Ben Aitchison at second slip. Overnight partner Jack Carson finished with 64 not out off 112 balls before the last three batsmen were all dismissed for ducks.

It was the highest score in a first-class match for an innings containing six ducks. The previous record was 295 made by Canterbury in 1922-23 on MCC’s tour to New Zealand.

It has been a disappointing loss and season for Ian Salisbury, the Sussex head coach. "To lose by nine wickets is obviously disappointing,“ he admitted.

“It’s funny that we break a record for the highest score with six ducks, but if half of those get runs we save the follow-on and it’s a different game.

"I can’t fault the effort of the guys but the table doesn’t lie. It can only get better from here and I genuinely think with the quality of the younger players we have given opportunity to this season I think the future is bright. To be able to present Tom Haines with his county cap today was a very proud moment for me as coach. To finish as leading run scorer is a tremendous achievement. Tom has grown as a cricketer and a person so much this season."

The wickets were shared with four Derbyshire bowlers — Dustin Melton, Ed Moulton, Anuj Dal and Madsen — all claiming two apiece.

Brown, batting again earlier than he would have expected as Derbyshire enforced the follow-on, fell for a three-ball duck when he was bowled by Moulton after opening pair Ali Orr and captain Tom Haines had a patient start, putting on 43 in 15.3 overs.

After the breakthrough Sussex slumped to 51 for three in the space of three overs before a fourth wicket stand of 41 between Harrison Ward (19) and Ibrahim (29) slowed Derbyshire’s progress.

Melton then had two leg-before decisions in successive overs to remove Ibrahim and Oli Carter, with Rawlins now one of the new batsmen at the crease. He produced his highest knock of the championship season before his dismissal ended the innings and left Derbyshire with an easy run chase.

The nine-wicket victory ensured that Derbyshire did not finish last in the bottom-of-the-table clash.

Billy Godleman, the Derbyshire captain, said: "It was a really enjoyable game. The boys were fantastic, particularly today by taking 14 wickets.

“To give us the opportunity to enforce the follow-on and then take ten wickets I thought was a brilliant achievement. We set a brilliant foundation on the first day by scoring 400-plus and then to take 20 wickets in pretty good conditions was a great achievement.

“We spread the wickets around and, reflective of the effort, everyone put a shift in for the team."

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Published September 24, 2021 at 7:58 am (Updated September 24, 2021 at 7:54 am)

Delray Rawlins has the final word despite heavy Sussex defeat

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