Sussex struggle to contain Glamorgan on a damp day 1 at Hove

Glamorgan made good progress on a rain-ruined first day against Sussex in their push for promotion from Division Two of the LV= County Championship.

Eight points behind second-placed Middlesex at start of play and needing a win to give them a chance of finishing in the top two, they progressed at more than five runs an over in the 41.2 overs possible at the 1st Central County Ground, reaching 221 for three.

Indian batter Shubman Gill led the way with an unbeaten 91 off just 102 balls while skipper David Lloyd, fresh from his triple hundred against Derbyshire last week, scored 56 against an anodyne Sussex attack.

Skipper Lloyd bucked the recent trend at Hove by batting first when play began an hour late because of morning rain. His decision was quickly justified as Glamorgan made serene progress on a flat pitch.

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Brad Currie was the pick of the Sussex attack and took two wickets but the home side, who haven’t bowled an opposition out twice all season, struggled to back him up.

Pakistan all-rounder Faheem Ashfraf, who is playing the final game of a three-match trial before Sussex decide whether to sign him for 2023, was withdrawn after bowling three wayward overs for 21 runs with the new ball.

At the Cromwell Road end, Currie was much more effective and he broke through in his fifth over when Eddie Byrom was surprised by a ball that left him off the pitch which he edged to wicketkeeper Charlie Tear for 21.

Gill and Lloyd put on 57 in 12 overs between further stoppages either side of lunch with few alarms. Lloyd, who scored an unbeaten 313 in his last Championship innings, passed fifty for the sixth time this season.

It was a surprise when left-armer Sean Hunt went round the wicket and thudded the ball low into his pads as the batter played half-forward. Lloyd’s 56 came off 64 balls with six fours and two sixes.

Sam Northeast became Currie’s second victim when he edged an outswinger which Tom Alsop caught low at first slip, with the total 151 in only the 27th over.

Even with the floodlights on, Gill and Billy Root had little trouble in adding a further 70 runs in 15 overs before the players came off again 20 minutes after tea because of bad light.

Gill, strong on the front foot and dismissive of anything short, has so far hit two sixes, including an effortless pick-up over mid-wicket off Currie that was the shot of the day, and 11 fours. Root is unbeaten on 17.

Umpires Paul Baldwin and Tom Lungley held two further inspections before calling play off at 5.15pm but Glamorgan will feel it has been a productive day.

Glamorgan captain David Lloyd, who made 56, said: “We played positively and hopefully we can get back in again tomorrow and do more of the same and have another good day.

“We play well when we take on the opposition attack and the way Shubman (Gill) played was excellent. For someone so young he’s got a very bright future.

“He is a good person to have around the batting group. He gives good advice to the younger batters and has been great.

“In terms of promotion, we’re not taking much notice of other scores. We just have to deal with what we can do in our game here.”

Sussex bowler Brad Currie, who took two wickets, said: “We’ve got to come out tomorrow and fight hard, especially to get Gill’s wicket.

“Hopefully, we can take a couple of early wickets, put pressure on them and then when it’s our turn we can bat long.

“Gill’s is a big wicket for us to get. Mentally, it’s easy to be in the moment when you are bowling at someone with his stats. It gees you up.

“There’s a bit of nip in the wicket. We were unlucky at times but we should have probably done a bit more on it than we did.

“Glamorgan are well placed but hopefully we can come back hard at them tomorrow.”

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