Delray Rawlins shines with ball as Sussex take control against Leicester
Delray Rawlins celebrated his return to the Sussex side with a good spell of spin bowling as the visitors dismissed Leicestershire for just 210 in 83.4 overs on the first day of their LV=County Championship match at the Upton Steel County Ground.
Rawlins, who was dropped for Sussex’s match against Middlesex last weekend which they lost by seven wickets in a high-scoring contest, picked up two wickets for 28 runs from a good 18-over spell which also contained six maidens.
Rawlins removed middle order pair Wiaan Mulder and wicketkeeper Harry Swindells – Mulder caught for 16 and Swindells trapped lbw for one – as Leicestershire reached 138 for seven after 50.5.
He then took a catch close to the wicket to give opener Aaron Beard his third wicket of the innings as he finished with three for 58 from 16.4 overs.
Henry Crocombe also claimed three wickets, for 37 runs in 18 overs, as Sussex hardly missed England seamer Ollie Robinson who bowled just one over at the top of the innings before going off due to food poisoning.
Leicestershire will rue their decision to bat first after winning the toss.
Robinson appeared unwell from the outset, bowling at half pace before leaving the field for treatment. His colleagues responded admirably, bowling tight spells as Leicestershire found runs difficult to come by.
Lewis Hill was their top scorer with 35 while opener Hassan Azad supported with 30 and tailender Callum Parkinson 32 not out.
In their six first innings efforts with the bat this season, Leicestershire have passed 300 just once. Parkinson a left-arm spinner, struck on the final delivery of the day to restrict Sussex to 38 for one after 9.5 overs, the teams going off before a new batsman could join captain Tom Haines who is on 22 not out.
Sussex were without Mohammad Rizwan, due to a death in his family, while loaned player Mason Crane was recalled by his county Hampshire.
Rawlins took his opportunity with both hands, bowling economically with his left-arm spin, as the Sussex bowlers gave their batsmen a chance to build a good first innings lead on day two. Both sides are still seeking their first victory of the season.
Rawlins was also involved in the wicket of Azad who was run out off his bowling after being called for a single by Rishi Patel just before lunch. However, he was too slow to beat Alsop’s throw to Rawlins from backward point.
Things did not improve for the home side after lunch as Patel edged a lifting delivery from Beard to second slip before captain Colin Ackermann chopped a ball from Haines on to his stumps to leave Leicestershire on 104 for four.
Rawlins helped keep the pressure on, picking up his first wicket when he struck Swindells on the back pad to get an lbw call. He then had Mulder caught behind by wicketkeeper Oli Carter as the South African international tried to glance a legside delivery to the boundary.