County Championship Division Two: Sussex vs Leicestershire, Day 1 review

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County Championship Division Two: Sussex vs Leicestershire, Day 1 review

Lewis Hatchett’s five-wicket haul helped Sussex bundle Leicestershire out for 204 on the opening day of the County Championship Division Two at Grace Road on 29th July. The bowler friendly conditions at the Grace Road were well exploited by the 20 year old seamer, as he clinched 5 wickets conceding only 47 runs in 14.1 overs.

The only batsman who could cope with the bowler-friendly conditions in front of the home crowd was Australian all-rounder Andrew McDonald, who scored a bludgeoning knock of 63 runs from just 80 balls. But his lone 63 was not enough to post a competitive first innings total, as five of the Leicestershire batsmen could not even enter the double figures (Will Jefferson, Tom New, Nadeem Malik, Nathan Buck and Matthew Hoggard).

After being put into bat first by the Sussex captain Michael Yardy, the hosts went off to a shaky start. The opening pair of Will Jefferson and Paul Nixon could only set up a 27 runs foundation for the side before Jefferson was trapped lbw by Lewis Hatchett. The departing opener, with the help of a boundary, scored 7 runs from 25 balls. Jacques Du Toit and Nixon played a flurry of well-timed shots to add 22 runs to the scorecard in the next 5 overs. However, the partnership could not last long, and Nixon was caught by Ed Joyce off Collymore’s fine delivery. After facing 59 balls, Nixon scored 22 runs including three boundaries.

Jacques Du Toit was a bit aggressive in scoring, as he scored 18 runs from 24 balls, smashing three boundaries as well, but Collymore was equally swift in sending him back. Toit’s departure brought Andrew McDonald to the crease, and in partnership with James Taylor, the duo posted 52 runs for the fourth wicket stand. Both the players played a succession of sweetly-timed shots, taking Leicestershire to 110 for 3 from 58 for 3. Yasir Arafat broke the fluent partnership when he trapped Taylor lbw leaving the hosts 110 for 4. During his 42 balls stay at the crease, Taylor posted 19 runs to the board.

The wicketkeeper Tom New got off to an aggressive start, but could get only nine runs before he was run out on Hatchett’s throw. His 10 minutes stay at crease saw him hitting two boundaries. At 133 for 5, Leicestershire was desperate for a long partnership and that’s when the fluent Andrew McDonald and Wayne White took the initiative. Both plundered a flurry of innovative boundaries to ease the nerves of the hosts. The excitement, however, was short-lived, as Panesar earned the side a breakthrough trapping the belligerent McDonald. Both White and McDonald, standing for the sixth wicket partnership, added almost 40 runs to the team’s total. McDonald’s 80 balls stay at the crease earned the hosts 63 runs. His spell during the 103 minutes stay on the crease included 13 beautiful boundaries.

Leicestershire’s seventh wicket fell when Hatchett bowled Claude Henderson for 11. His 11 runs off 39 deliveries contained 2 boundaries. Nadeem Malik holed out for duck handing Hatchett a hat-trick chance, though the 20 years old left-arm seamer failed to capitalize on it. Hatchett struck back the next over as he bowled Wayne White. White’s 78 balls innings earned him 21 runs including three boundaries. The entire team was bowled out in just 61.1 overs with 204 runs on the board. Leicestershire’s last man to go was captain Matthew Hoggard who was also bowled by Hatchett after contributing only 2 runs.

Lewis Hatchett was the most successful bowler from Sussex, with 5 scalps conceding only 47 runs at an economy of 3.31 per over. Corey Collymore followed him taking two wickets, while Arafat and Panesar took one wicket apiece.

At the end of day one’s game, Sussex were 128 for 4. Chris Nash (52) and the night-watchman Lewis Hatchett (0) were on the crease.

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