County Championship - day 2: Inspired spell puts Sussex on top

Action from day one. Picture by Colin Bowman
Action from day one. Picture by Colin Bowman

When bad light ended play ten overs before the scheduled close on the second day, an inspired spell of bowling from the Sussex seam attack had reduced Glamorgan to 126 for 6, an overall lead of 152.

Ollie Robinson, who took four wickets in the first innings, as Glamorgan lost five wickets for thirty five runs after tea, again led the way with impressive figures of 15-3-29-3, with support from Jordan and Archer. Much will depend on Glamorgan’s lower order, who will need another 100 runs to set the opposition a challenging target.

Sussex resumed on 79 for 3 but Glamorgan’s bowlers were soon into their stride with Rory Smith removing Angus Robson with his fifth ball of the morning, the batsman not offering a stroke as the ball came back off the pitch to hit the middle stump. Chris Nash began with a flurry of boundaries, but Smith soon struck again as Luke Wright, who had earlier been dropped at slip, was yorked for five.

Although Michael Hogan leaked runs in his opening spell, the other seamers continued to probe, and Sussex lost another wicket when Chris Jordan, who had started with two boundaries, was bowled by Lukas Carey. Ben Brown meanwhile, was rarely in trouble, striking boundaries on both sides of the wicket, as Sussex continued to lose wickets at the other end.

David Wiese was the next to go when he edged an expansive drive to the wicketkeeper to give Hogan his first wicket, but Jofra Archer, who is probably the best No 11 in the business, settled in with Brown to share a productive partnership for the last wicket. They put on 43, a valuable stand in the context of the game, before Brown, who made 77 and had struck eleven fours, was bowled by Meschede, giving the Glamorgan seamer his fourth wicket.

The home team had a lead of 26 on first innings, and were proceeding quite nicely to 69 for 1, before Sussex’s seamers initiated the collapse. Nick Selman had become Robinson’s first victim, but Owen Morgan and Jack Murphy played the new ball with confidence until Morgan was well held low down by Jordan at second slip.

Murphy, who made 27, was then given out to a catch by the wicketkeeper off Jordan, this after a half-hearted appeal from Brown, and Jordan then took his second wicket in consecutive overs when Donald, struck a fierce drive to cover only to see Robson take a stunning catch low to his right.

Th collapse continued as Kiran Carlson and Andrew Salter both edged to the wicketkeeper, and at 104 for 6, Glamorgan needed Meschede and Tom Cullen to replicate their 108 run partnership in the first innings. Meschede struck some early boundaries, and the seventh wicket pair remained until the close with Glamorgan 126 for 6, with Meschede unbeaten on 17.

Ben Brown, the Sussex captain, said: “A topsy turvy day, when all of a sudden, the game came to life and there was always something in the pitch for the bowlers, especially with the new ball. I thought we clawed our way back very well, and kept going. Ollie Robinson was again top drawer, and it’s great to see him bowl so well after his spate of injuries.”

Glamorgan debutant Jack Murphy, who made 27 in the second innings, said: "It was quite difficult after tea when they bowled really well, while the light was also indifferent, and it was a shame that we lost two wickets in successive overs. We need to come back strong in the morning, and try to get a lead of around 250.”