COUNTY ROUND-UP: Sussex take victory, Middlesex cling on

Sussex beat Hampshire on the final day of the opening round of matches in the LV= County Championship. The other three fixtures all ended in draws following wins yesterday for Durham and Yorkshire.

Hampshire resumed day four at Southampton on 181 for four in pursuit of 378 to beat Sussex and made a terrible start, losing Will Smith with just a run added and Adam Wheater with the score on 191. Matthew Hobden was the man responsible for both dismissals. Gareth Berg (14) and Sean Ervine (42) then advanced the score past 200, but both fell in relatively quick succession to leave the match, as a contest, all but over at 244 for eight. Chris Wood had a bit of fun in clubbing four boundaries but was caught behind off Steve Magoffin for 30, with Luke Wells wrapping up the win by bowling James Tomlinson for six. Hampshire were all out for 285 to lose by 92 runs.

Middlesex battled hard and escaped with a draw against Nottinghamshire. Set 519 to win, they ended on 300 for seven, with the eighth-wicket pair James Harris and Tim Murtagh batting out more than 19 overs. With Dawid Malan unable to bat, Middlesex had needed a good start to the final day at Lord’s and they got one thanks to Nick Gubbins (37) and Nick Compton (85), who took their overnight second-wicket stand to 132. Skipper Adam Voges then hit 72, but Nottinghamshire kept chipping away to keep the match on a knife-edge. Harry Gurney picked up three for 69, while there were a brace of wickets apiece for Jake Ball and Samit Patel.

Glamorgan opted against anything too risky in terms of a declaration at Grace Road. Resuming on a potentially perilous 47 for three, they eventually called time on their second innings at 227 for seven. Chris Cooke was the man mainly responsible for the fightback and helped them overcome a mediocre start to day four before becoming sixth man out for 81. Craig Meschede them had time to hit a breezy unbeaten 33 off 29 balls.

This left Leicestershire needing 306 to win at around six per over and they lost two early wickets to put any feint hopes of a challenge to bed. Instead, it was left to Mark Cosgrove and Neil Pinner to see their side to safety with an unbroken fourth-wicket partnership of 99. Cosgrove finished on 59, with Pinner on 42 and the score on 141 for three after 38 overs.

An unbeaten century from Chris Dent ensured that Gloucestershire had little difficulty in achieving a draw against Northamptonshire. Dent and fellow opener Will Tavare put on 137 before the latter was bowled by Mohammad Azharullah for 66. Gareth Roderick (52) and then Peter Handscomb (25 not out) partnered Dent through to his century – the sixth of his career. Gloucestershire ended on 267 for two in pursuit of their unlikely target of 454.

News in brief:
Nottinghamshire Director of Cricket and England selector Mick Newell has told BBC Radio Nottingham that he sees a reduction in four-day cricket coming fairly soon. He predicts a reduction to between 12-14 matches as opposed to the current 16.

Sussex have signed George Bailey for the second half of the NatWest T20 Blast. He will replace Mahela Jayawardene as their overseas player for the final seven matches and will also be available to play in the Royal London One-Day Cup.

Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie has been confirmed as coach of Big Bash League franchise Adelaide Strikers for the next two seasons. His commitments with Yorkshire will be unaffected. Yorkshire’s overseas player Aaron Finch, meanwhile, has tweeted that he expects to miss the remainder of the IPL through injury, throwing his availability for Yorkshire into doubt.

Daniel Grummitt

Daniel Grummitt

Cricket Writer at World Cricket Badger
Daniel first began writing about cricket in 2011, having been a fan of the game ever since his Grandad introduced him to it at the age of 10.

He worked for CricketWorld.com for almost three years, leading their county and domestic cricket coverage and contributing to a book about the 2012 ICC World Twenty20, before joining the hugely ambitious World Cricket Badger early in 2014.

The first Test that he remembers watching was on Channel 4 - back before the ECB marginalised potential future fans by selling the TV rights to Sky Sports - when England beat Pakistan by an innings and nine runs at Lord’s.

Besides a passion for domestic cricket, he also has an unexplainable interest in all things Zimbabwe cricket!
Daniel Grummitt

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