Main image: Ali McCreedy
Sussex’s Will Beer fell agonisingly short of his maiden first-class century on a rain-ruined second day of their Specsavers County Championship Division Two match against Gloucestershire at Arundel.
The makeshift opener, who is playing only his 18th first-class match in his 12th season with the county, was out for 97 as Sussex reached 351 for 8 before the rain arrived. After several inspections umpires Ian Blackwell and Neil Bainton called off play for the day at 4.40pm with only 30 overs bowled.
There was an audible groan from the crowd when Gloucestershire seamer David Payne found some in-swing to knock back Beer’s off stump and end an innings which lasted seven hours and 41 minutes. He faced 336 balls and hit 14 fours.
Beer had added 21 runs during the morning, putting on 91 in 27 overs for the sixth wicket with South African allrounder David Wiese contributing an entertaining 67, his third half-century of the season.
Wiese hit Australian paceman Chadd Sayers and Payne for straight sixes as well as seven fours before he was pinned in front by Graeme van Burren’s quicker ball.
The slow left-armer got the occasional delivery to turn sharply out of the rough and shortly before lunch he picked up his third wicket as Chris Jordan was bowled for seven.
Sussex skipper Ben Brown admitted his team-mates shared Beer’s frustration when he was out.
“We were so disappointed for him that he didn’t get his hundred,” he said. “It was a great effort. As a team we have talked about being adaptable and trying to play in a different way for different conditions. The wickets at Arundel can be slow and you can get bowled out for 150 trying to force the pace so the way he played, which allowed the rest of us to bat around him, was an exceptional effort and it’s a shame he didn’t get the hundred he deserved.”
Rathbone Investment Management is proud to sponsor the Rathbones Arundel Festival of Cricket. To celebrate this great sporting event, they are offering the opportunity to win a framed and signed Sussex CCC Specsavers County Championship shirt. To enter, visit www.rathbones.com/rafc, competition entries close on 25th June 2019. The winner will be contacted by 28th June 2019.