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Match Report

Sussex vs Gloucestershire: Day 4 match report

30 Apr 2023

Gloucestershire 248 & 121-4 drew with Sussex 455-5 dec

The weather was the only winner in the rain-ruined LV= County Championship match between Gloucestershire and Sussex at Bristol, which ended in a predictable draw.

Only 41.2 overs were bowled on a frustrating final day at the Seat Unique Stadium where the visitors might have secured victory, enforcing the follow-on after bowling Gloucestershire out for 248, from an overnight 198 for nine.

Miles Hammond finished unbeaten on 87, from 171 balls, with 12 fours, while Ajeet Dale contributed ten to a crucial last-wicket stand of 61. Nathan McAndrew ended with figures of five for 63 before drizzle and poor light intervened.

With a lead of 207, Sussex asked Gloucestershire to bat again and when play resumed at 3.30pm, reduced them to 41 for four, left-arm seamer Sean Hunt claiming three of the wickets.

But, with two runs added, more rain brought a second interruption to play. And, although it began again at 5.08pm with a possible 22.2 overs still to be bowled, only 18.2 were sent down before the players shook hands, the scoreboard reading 121 for four, with Graeme van Buuren 55 not out.

Sussex took 13 points after dominating what play there was in the match, while Gloucestershire had to settle for six.

The final day began with Hammond and Dale looking to extend the home side’s first innings and bat for as long as possible.

With only a couple of overs until the second new ball, Sussex elected to start with spin at both ends and the decision should have paid quick dividends.

Hammond, unbeaten on 42 at the start, reached a 128-ball half-century with two fours off Jack Carson and then reverse swept a third boundary off James Coles.

The total was 211 for nine and the error cost Sussex time as well as 37 more runs as Hammond and Dale batted comfortably against the second new ball, taken at 212 for nine, on what remained a very flat pitch.

The pair had taken Gloucestershire to within two of an unlikely batting point when Dale fell lbw to Tom Haines. By then the floodlights were shining brightly under heavily overcast skies.

Hammond had suffered a painful blow attempting to pull a delivery from Hunt and the umpires were already showing concern about the light when Dale was dismissed.

It was no surprise when, with both teams out and ready to start Gloucestershire’s second innings, they ruled conditions unfit for play to resume.

With heavy rain forecast during the afternoon, ground staff brought on the heavy covers. Lunch was taken and a draw seemed the only likely outcome.

But on the resumption, with a possible 44 overs left to bowl, excellent opening spells by Hunt and McAndrew plunged the hosts into trouble.

Chris Dent was pinned lbw by McAndrew’s second ball of the innings, while the impressive Hunt removed James Bracey, who edged a catch to wicketkeeper Oli Carter.

It was almost nine for three as Hammond nicked the ball at catchable height between Carter and first slip Tom Alsop.

Sussex needed to take such chances. But Hunt struck two more blows, removing Marcus Harris leg before and Hammond to another Carter catch before the weather closed in again with the total 43 for three.

Again the covers went on and were withdrawn for a final resumption. Gloucestershire skipper van Buuren, who had entered the fray at 16 for three on a king pair, went on the counter-attack and reached an entertaining fifty off 59 balls, with 11 fours.

Ollie Price provided solid support, but having been denied a probable victory at Worcester by rain in their previous game, van Buuren’s men had cause to be grateful to the weather this time.

Report provide by ECB Reporter's Network

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