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Sussex with commanding lead after imperious Stiaan van Zyl century

A hundred from Stiaan van Zyl and a career best 97 from George Garton led the way for Sussex who recovered from a middle order collapse to lead Glamorgan by 196 runs at the end of day two of their LV=Insurance County Championship match in Cardiff.

Sussex continued their excellent start to their first innings with Aaron Thomason and Tom Haines setting a platform for Sussex who were 211 for 1 at lunch.  Three wickets for seven runs meant that Glamorgan had given themselves an opening to get back into the match but first van Zyl and then Garton took Sussex up to their opponent's total and beyond.


Sussex made serene progress in the opening session, the only moment of success for Glamorgan was a stunning caught and bowled from Michael Hogan to dismiss Thomason for 67 to end an opening stand of 115. 

As has so often been the case, Hogan was the pick of the Glamorgan bowlers and he was the one man to cause real trouble for Sussex and it was s Hogan who brought Haines’ innings to an end when he trapped him lbw for 87 just after lunch. The 22-year-old fell just short of his third century in as many first-class matches, but can take solace from the fact he has amassed 393 runs in that time.


Hogan could have had a second wicket in the same over if Nick Selman could have held on to a sharp chance at second slip to dismiss Tom Clark. Clark was on 19 when he drove a ball into the off side to give James Weighell a catch off Dan Douthwaite. Sussex captain Ben Brown went to the very next ball when he was caught behind attempting to cut a wide ball. When Delray Rawlins played around a straight ball from Callum Taylor for two three overs later, Sussex had stumbled from 254 for 2 to 261 for 5.

While all of this was happening van Zyl was imperious, recording the 28th hundred of his career and his sixth for Sussex in 146 balls with 14 fours. He was brutal on anything over-pitched but played the drive one too many times and was well caught by Chris Cooke off the bowling of Timm van der Gugten for 113 after adding 69 for the sixth wicket with Garton.

With van Zyl gone Glamorgan had a chance to wrap up the Sussex innings but Garton and Ollie Robinson took the game away from them as they put on 134 together - the biggest partnership of the innings -, secured maximum bonus points and built a huge lead. 

Garton was denied his maiden hundred when he was trapped lbw by Hogan but he played his part in a fine Sussex effort that saw them reach 481 for 9 at the close with Robinson undefeated on 67, his second consecutive Championship fifty. 

Reflecting on his classy knock, van Zyl said, "Especially not playing for a year I think getting a few runs under the belt is always special and to do it on a lovely day like this in Wales was even more special. It is very nice to get some runs under the belt and still know that I can do it. I need to think that I am maybe mentally stronger knowing that I can still do it having not played for a year. I knew I could do it, it is just to get that one under your belt and know that the season has started. Every hundred for me is special and this one is special too. 

Offering Glamorgan's perspective, Hogan said, "The boys toiled pretty well but there was probably a bit of inconsistency at times. The ball went pretty soft, it felt like we were bowling with a cabbage at times. It was good graft but we’re on the back foot, there is a lot of work to do tomorrow. We are behind the game a little bit. There’s definitely runs to be had, the wicket’s probably got a little better than day one but we have still got to work hard, we are 200 behind so plenty of work to do."

Watch day three from 11am on the Sussex Cricket Match Centre.