Centuries by Luke Wells (181) and Ben Brown (159*) who shared a record-breaking stand of 294 in 73.1 overs for the fifth wicket saw Sussex to 552/5 declared on the third day of their Specsavers County Championship match against Glamorgan at Hove. Facing a deficit of 217 runs, Glamorgan were 30/1 at the close of play.
Close of Play Report
A cover drive for four by Ben Brown off the last ball before tea had seen the wicket-keeper complete his hundred, and he added another boundary to his tally in Craig Meschede’s opening over as he pulled the ball to mid-wicket with Sussex moving past the 450-mark. Luke Wells also hinted at a more assertive approach in the closing session as he advanced down the wicket to Owen Morgan and drilled him through mid-off for four.
Wells also reverse-swept Morgan for four whilst Meschede then left the field for treatment after a tumbling stop at long-leg. His departure saw Robert Croft briefly act as a substitute fielder as the Sussex pair continued to up the tempo with Brown drilling Lloyd over long-off for six before nurdling the all-rounder for four to complete his 150 as the stand beat Sussex’s previous best for any wicket against Glamorgan in Championship cricket, beating the 281 added for the second wicket by John Langridge and Harry Parks at Eastbourne in 1938, having earlier cruised past the previous best for the fifth wicket for Sussex against Glamorgan which had been 156 by Roger Prideaux and Peter Graves at Sophia Gardens in 1971
Wells celebrated by reverse-sweeping Morgan for four followed by a massive straight six, but the spinner then ended the stand as he caught and bowled the next delivery. Brown continued to find the ropes as he reverse-swept Morgan for four before Will Bragg had an over and was pulled for four by Will Beer before Sussex declared on 552/5 with a first innings lead of 217 runs.
This left Glamorgan with thirteen overs to face, as Nick Selman and Mark Wallace began the second innings with Steve Magoffin and Stuart Whittingham sharing the new ball. With 16 on the board in the seventh over, Magoffin trapped Selman l.b.w with Morgan making his way to the crease as night-watchman. Together with Wallace, he saw Glamorgan through to the close without the loss of any further wickets.
Michael Hogan resumed the bowling after lunch with Sussex on 310/4 but Luke Wells edged the first delivery just wide of second slip, before confidently on-driving the Australian to the mid-wicket boards. After three overs, Hogan left the field as the after-effects of the blow on his helmet yesterday still appeared to plague the tall bowler with Timm van der Gugten replacing him at the Cromwell Road End. Brown clipped the Dutchman for two to complete his patient fifty from 101 balls before Sussex went into the lead in the 114th over.
Brown brought up the century stand by square-cutting van der Gugten for four before Wells completed his century by squirting van der Gugten to third man to secure his tenth boundary after five hours at the crease. He soon added another as he glanced Craig Meschede to fine-leg before Brown repeated the stroke two overs later. Owen Morgan then settled into another accurate spell before Wells brought up the 150-stand by flicking Meschede to deep backward square-leg.
In the continued absence of Hogan, David Lloyd also had a trundle shortly before tea with the all-rounder causing Brown to miscue a pull with the ball bisecting the two fielders straddling square-leg. The batsmen then dispatched a rare loose ball from Morgan through the covers for four before completing his hundred in the final over of the session, delivered by Wagg in left-arm spin mode.
At times during yesterday’s play, medical reports rather than updates on the playing action took priority for Glamorgan’s officials. Jacques Rudolph was one of the walking wounded having taking a firm blow on his hand from Stuart Whittingham during his fine innings of 87. The young pace bowler also struck Michael Hogan a nasty blow on the grille of his helmet as he ducked into a short ball after lofting Will Beer for a straight six. The dazed Hogan retired hurt and, like his captain, was unable to take to the field when Sussex batted with twelfth man Jack Murphy, Shaun Tait and David Harrison all pressed into fielding action.
Owen Morgan, the debutant left-arm spinner also delivered two impressive spells, conceding just one authentic boundary in fifteen accurate overs, as Joyce straight drove the 22 year-old en route to a sublime hundred, with the youngster also claiming a maiden Championship wicket as Chris Nash edged a cut into Mark Wallace’s gloves. Morgan had two further overs this morning with Hogan also taking to the field, but Rudolph was still absent as Callum Taylor fielded as substitute with the Glam organ captain resting his bruised hand.
After three overs the new ball was taken with Timm van der Gugten joining forces with Graham Wagg who was back in swing mode after an over of spin and the left-armer made the breakthrough in his second over with the new cherry as Luke Wright was bowled shouldering arms. Luke Wells duly completed a watchful fifty from 122 balls before Hogan returned to the attack at the Cromwell Road End.
Ben Brown nearly became another victim for Wagg as he scythed a cut just over the head of the slip cordon, before Luke Wells at second slip edged a ball from Hogan high to second slip where Aneurin Donald could only parry the ball. He then celebrated his good fortune by driving the Australian through the covers, before Brown got a thick outside edge to a ball from Hogan which flew through the gully and sped away for four.
Brown secured a more orthodox boundary as he square-drove Hogan before Morgan returned to the attack shortly before lunch.and again bowled with great control, besides beatin g the outside edge of Brown’s bat as he attempted to cut the spinner.