Our correspondent reports on Sussex Cricket's disability cricket showcase at Ansty CC on Sunday, including Sussex's latest match in the D40 county competition against Essex...
Last Sunday (6th June) was a special day for disability cricket in Sussex. Lord’s Taverners, Ansty CC (the first Sussex ECB Disability Champion Club) and Sussex Cricket put on a showcase celebrating both the recreational and representative components of the Disability Cricket in Sussex.
The day started off with two XI’s made up of participants from all six Super 1s (community disability) clubs playing a T10 exhibition match in front of an enthusiastic audience of parents, carers and Ansty club members. With the Sussex and Essex D40 players warming up in the background, this was a great platform for the future county disability players to show what they could do.
The Super 1’s players and families then stayed on to watch the D40 game and were treated to a match which had almost 500 runs in 80 overs and a very special conclusion.
Sussex won the toss and elected to field. After their excellent bowling and fielding performance against Middlesex, expectations were high that Sussex could make early inroads into the Essex batting. The Essex batsmen had other ideas, with their two excellent openers putting on a 135-run stand until the Sussex captain, James Bunday, bowled one of them. After 30 overs, Essex were scoring at around six an over, and with 9 wickets in hand, a score in excess of 275 was on the cards. However, thanks to some very tight bowling in the last eight overs, coupled with three quick wickets, Sussex managed to restrict Essex to 237 for 4 in their 40 overs.
238 was still a very challenging target but on what was a decent wicket, Sussex felt it was an achievable total. With a good start essential, one of the Sussex openers fell in the 4th over to a sensational slip catch that would have graced the game at the highest level. Despite the early setback, Sussex set about their chase in a controlled manner with three key partnerships of 48, 91 and 53, all involving Alfie Pyle being ably supported by the other batsmen. By the time Pyle was out for 87, Sussex were almost at 200 with 9 overs remaining to get the 40 runs required for victory.
James Bunday played a captain’s innings, and it would have been fitting for him to be there at the end, but he was given out lbw with 8 runs still required. However, Sussex got the winning runs in the 35th over to secure the win.
This was a historic day for Disability Cricket in Sussex. As one of the newer entrants to the D40 competition, Sussex has been playing catch up with our more-established opponents, and securing a first ever win after two winless seasons is a cause for great celebration. The squad and coaching team deserve huge admiration and congratulations for the hard work and positive attitudes they have shown to develop and learn over the last three years. Let’s hope this is the first of many victories to come.
Sussex's next D40 game is against Shropshire on Sunday 20 June 2021 and is being played at a neutral venue.
Tickets for Sussex’s LV= Insurance County Championship fixture against Glamorgan at The 1st Central County Ground from Sunday 4th to Wednesday 7th July will be available to members from 11am on Wednesday morning (23rd Jun
Sussex Sharks suffered a third successive washout in the Vitality Blast when their South Group game against Glamorgan at The 1st Central County Ground was abandoned 90 minutes before the scheduled 7pm start.<