Lancashire enjoyed another dominant day on the South Coast as they turned the screw on Sussex in their latest LV= County Championship clash.
The Red Rose county posted a mammoth first innings total of 590 all out, with Gareth Cross scoring a brilliant 125 and left-hander Luke Procter providing more than useful assistance with an excellent 89 in only his third Championship appearance. Both men notched career bests.
Sussex started their reply immediately after tea knowing they needed 441 to avoid the possibility of having to follow-on. - and they closed the day in deep trouble at 97-4 from 33 overs.
Gary Keedy struck twice, while Farveez Maharoof and Glen Chapple also got a wicket apiece. Murray Goodwin and night-watchman Amjad Khan will resume tomorrow morning.
“It was an all-round performance,” said Cross, who faced 195 balls. “To get as many runs as we did, then get them four down, was a great effort.
“To the seamers, the wicket’s still fairly flat. Unless you get a jaffer against them, you shouldn’t really get out. It’s just hard work for the seamers. But they’ve accepted their job is to not go for any runs and create pressure for Keeds at the other end.”
Lancashire’s batsmen added another 268 runs in 62.4 overs to their overnight score, with Cross, Procter, Maharoof and Chapple all contributing.
Left-handed Procter hit six fours and five sixes in a brutal attack on England left-arm spinner Monty Panesar, peppering the seating at mid-wicket from Sea End of the ground.
He and Cross, who resumed day two at the crease, shared a seventh wicket partnership of 129 in 35 overs, with the latter taking his time to settle at the crease before accelerating during the afternoon session.
Both recorded their half-centuries before lunch, Procter’s coming off 102 balls and Cross getting his off 69.
Despite missing out on a fifth batting point, the Red Rose pair added 122 runs during the first session of the day. Even though Panesar was sent the distance by Procter, the ex-Northants man still managed to gain revenge and return impressive figures of 2-133 from 50 overs.
His second wicket of the innings was that of Procter, who fell eleven short of a maiden ton when he edged to Joyce at first slip to leave the score at 450-7 in the 130th over.
Cross also hit five sixes, cracking Panesar straight, part-time spinner Luke Wells over wide long-on, and Naveed Arif over long-on amongst his blows.
While Paul Horton, Karl Brown and Procter had all fallen short of three figures, Cross highlighted his side’s dominance by bringing up his second career ton by guiding Arif wide of the keeper. He had faced 176 balls, but was not done just yet.
He went on to claim a career best before becoming the ninth wicket to fall when he holed out to Amjad Khan at long-on off the bowling of Arif.
He had shared 86 for the eighth wicket with Sri Lankan Maharoof, who had been the victim of a fine tumbling catch at deep backward square-leg by Wells off the bowling of Arif.
Chapple then clobbered five fours and two sixes in his entertaining 24-ball 35 not out, but saw Sajid Mahmood bowled by Arif to end the innings.
On his own performance, Cross added: “I’ve got a couple of fifties in the first two games, and been a bit disappointed not to get a hundred. I would settle for fifty a game, but to get a hundred was good for me.”
Sussex openers Ed Joyce and Chris Nash then put on 46 for the first wicket, but Maharoof sparked a mini-collapse when he bowled Nash in the 16th over.
Keedy then turned one sharply to bowl Joyce, playing no shot, in the next over to give the Red Rose county their second wicket in the space of five balls. And he picked up their third when Wells, also playing no shot, was lbw to leave the score at 81-3 in the 27th.
Chapple finished off his side’s day in style when he trapped Ben Brown lbw with only nine more runs added to the total.
Day 1 Report
Photo (c) Simon Pendrigh
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