James Coles’s maiden first-class century put Sussex firmly ahead on day two against Glamorgan.
Beginning the day on 50, Coles quickly moved through the gears, unfurling an array of crisp cover drives throughout the morning session. To a loud ovation, he reached his 158-ball hundred with a trademark drive off Jamie McIlroy.
More classical shots would follow, a flowing flick through mid-wicket particularly pleased the Hove faithful before Coles eventually fell for 138 off 223 balls, trapped LBW by James Harris. It was an assured, textbook knock from the promising 19-year-old which left his side with a lead of more than 200.
There would be no ton for the great Steve Smith, however. Playing in possibly his last Sussex innings, the enigmatic Australian was pinned lbw for 89 by Harris – a full out-swinging delivery that caught Smith on the crease. Just two balls previously he’d dispatched the seamer for six with a monstrous pull-shot over square-leg.
In at seven, keeper-bat Oli Carter made a handy 28 before Sussex upped the ante. New man Fynn Hudson Prentice attacked the docile spin of Marnus Labuschagne, reverse-sweeping the Australian’s third ball of the day for a boundary.
Combining with Coles, the pair put Labuschagne for the sword, hitting the part-timer for six boundaries and 35 runs in his initial three-over spell.
Hudson-Prentice continued the onslaught after losing his partner, plundering boundaries off Ul-Hassan and Harris before claiming fifty with a firm pull shot off the latter. He upper-cut the next ball for six before punishing Harris through the covers soon after – and the total raced past 400.
With Sussex firmly in control, Glamorgan captain Kiran Carlson brought himself on to bowl and quickly claimed the wickets of Hudson-Prentice and Ari Karvelas. The former finished with a speedy 73 off 64 balls.
A couple of big swings later, Michael Neser claimed the final wicket of Ollie Robinson for 13. Sussex were all out for 481, giving them a lead of 358.
Neser was the only bowler who proved at all threatening for the visitors, his 3-81 was the sole highlight in an otherwise placid bowling effort.
Staring down a lengthy deficit, Glamorgan’s openers began brightly. Both took a liking to Fynn Hudson-Prentice, who Eddie Byrom nonchalantly flicked for six in his first over.
The partnership reached 65-0 when Ollie Robinson had Zain Ul-Hassan caught by keeper Oli Carter, or so he thought. As, after being given out on the field, the 22-year-old was recalled to the middle, umpire Rob White judging that the catch wasn’t taken cleanly.
At the other end, Byrom took on the spin, launching Jack Carson for a giant six to reach fifty.
Robinson would eventually have his wicket, however, when Byrom middled a short-ball to Carson at mid-wicket. The opener made 57 off 67 balls, with three glorious sixes.
With the day’s end drawing closer, Ul-Hassan and new man Labuschagne were resolute, seeing out the remaining overs to finish on 118-1.
At the close of play on day two, Glamorgan trail Sussex by 240 runs, with Ul-Hassan on 40 off 86 and Labuschagne on 15 off 39.
Sussex are ahead. Way ahead.