Delray Rawlins strokes classy 57 in defeat
Delray Rawlins made his highest score of the season in all forms of cricket yesterday but could not prevent Sussex from falling to a five-wicket defeat by Glamorgan in the LV= Insurance County Championship second division at Sophia Gardens.
The Bermuda all-rounder, who arrived at the crease only seven overs into the morning at 116 for five after the loss of two quick wickets, was at his fluent best as he and Oli Carter pair added 104 for the fourth wicket to temporarily make the draw the favourite, having overturned a first-innings deficit of 118.
However, Glamorgan turned the match on its head with three wickets in five balls approaching the tea break, including Rawlins’s for 57, to put themselves in a position to chase 141 for victory.
Carter, who made a career-best 185 in Sussex’s first-innings 376 — Rawlins contributed 21 — was first to go for 83 when he paddled off spinner Colin Ingram straight into the lap of Australian Test fast bowler Michael Neser at short fine leg.
It was the softest of dismissals for a batsman who had shown no signs of being perturbed with the new ball only a few overs away.
Having been repelled by Carter and Rawlins for 31 overs, Glamorgan couldn’t believe their luck when the Bermudian fell to the next ball at the start of the 73rd over, the left-hander playing inside a ball of full length from seamer Andy Gorvin and losing his off stump.
Rawlins, cashing in on the opportunity with overseas players Cheteshwar Pujara and Mohammad Rizwan on international duty, had occupied the crease for 143 minutes. It was his longest innings of the season, his eighth first-class fifty including ten fours.
Three balls later, Gorvin struck again when he trapped Henry Crocombe in front for a duck — and Glamorgan were on their way as they made short work of the rest of the batting line-up to dismiss Sussex for 258.
Their reply got off to the most inauspicious start, as they lost three wickets before getting into double figures — Sean Hunt picking up two wickets and Jack Brooks one, as Ingram and Eddie Byrom were back in the hutch with only two runs between them after making 178 and 176 respectively in the Welsh county’s imposing first innings of 494.
Sam Northeast and Kiran Carlson settled some nerves with a fourth-wicket stand of 76 before Carlson ran past a googly from the impressive 17-year-old wrist spinner Archie Lenham and was stumped for 45. It became five down when Billy Root was well caught by Tim Seifert off the bowling of Brooks, with 22 runs required for victory.
The batters then took 13 off the next over to make things a formality before Chris Cooke smashed Lenham through the covers to seal a memorable win at Sophia Gardens, Northeast finishing unbeaten on 45.
The next round of County Championship fixtures starts on June 26 with Sussex, whose winless run in four-day cricket has stretched to 20 matches, hosting Derbyshire at the 1st Central County Ground.
But first the white-ball team, of which Rawlins is a regular fixture, are in action tomorrow against Essex in the Vitality Blast and will want to atone for an astonishing collapse against Gloucestershire last Friday in losing eight wickets for 23 to go down by four runs.