Gloucestershire v Sussex
Specsavers County Championship -
20 September 2016
Venue: Brightside Ground Bristol
Long serving batsman Hamish Marshall made a valuable 77 in his final innings for the club to help Gloucestershire earn a draw against Sussex to finish the season at the Brightside Ground.
Starting the day 118 runs in arrears, Marshall was walking to the crease in the second over after the dismissal of Josh Shaw. Alongside Phil Mustard, who went on to make 90 not out, Marshall shared a century stand for the sixth wicket either side of lunch and the Durham loanee, partnered by Craig Miles, foiled Sussex in the final session until the players shook hands with Gloucestershire 337-7 in their second innings, 131 runs ahead.
Listen to the end of season thoughts of Hamish Marshall here :
Gloucestershire began the final day of the summer on the back foot, and within four overs Sussex appeared to have tightened their grip on proceedings through Danny Briggs. Firstly night watchman Josh Shaw was lbw for 5, and after reaching his half century off 112 balls with five boundaries, Chris Dent edged the left arm spinner to the gloves of Sussex captain Ben Brown.
The fielders provided a guard of honour as Hamish Marshall walked to the wicket for the final time in Gloucestershire colours, and with “the Colonel” Phil Mustard for company, the two most experienced batsmen in the team set about stabilising an innings in danger of lilting irretrievably..
The surprise at this point was Sussex’s omission from their attack of the usually accurate Magoffin. In tandem with Briggs the Gloucestershire batsmen would have been challenged at both ends, but instead Archer, Jordan, Wells and Robinson were all used ahead of the Australian, who wasn’t thrown the ball until 15 minutes before lunch.
Despite being a long way behind on the scoreboard, Marshall and Mustard’s natural game during their long careers hasn’t been based on watchful defence, and both were prepared to play strokes in order to claw back the deficit.
Marshall did see a ball from Jordan comes off the glove and drop short of the slips when he had made 17, but using his feet against Briggs he passed the first of two milestones by reaching 1,000 first class runs for the season.
With spin at both ends, Marshall struck the first six of the match towards the pavilion off leg spinner Wells, and reached a popular half century from 62 balls with five other boundaries. By lunch, and somewhat against the odds given how the day started, Gloucestershire were 17 runs in front, the circumspect Mustard having given Marshall ideal support in a stand of 124 in 22 overs where both men had batted without excessive risk.
It was therefore a shame that so much progress was halted in the second over after the resumption. Marshall, clearly relaxed and confident, collected two nonchalant boundaries off Briggs before steering the spinner to Nash at mid wicket for 77. He had gone through the 1,000 run barrier in the Championship in 2016 but his frustration in not seeing the afternoon through was clear as he raised his bat to the crowd for the last time.
The lead at this stage was only 28 with four wickets in hand, and with the second new ball just around the corner, Sussex would still have had hopes of victory but they were unable to force the issue against the seventh wicket pairing of Mustard and Jack Taylor.
The Durham loanee scored only four singles in 50 minutes after lunch, but brought up a valuable fifty from 143 balls with four boundaries. The pivotal point was probably when Archer badly misjudged a catch to remove Taylor which would have given Briggs his sixth wicket. He went on to make 33 out of a stand of 43 with Mustard, and by tea Gloucestershire’s lead was 81 against a tiring attack.
Sussex’s only hope of victory was a final burst from Chris Jordan but Mustard and Craig Miles, in gloriously sunny conditions, quietly saw out the day to secure the draw. Mustard could have chased a personal century but played responsibly to finish 90 not out and close out a match which had been hard fought from day one.
A composed century by captain Ben Brown put Sussex in a strong position on the penultimate day of the Championship season at the Brightside Ground.
Brown carried his bat, making an unbeaten 118, as Sussex extended their first innings lead to 206 before they were dismissed for 435 on the stroke of tea. On a docile pitch, Josh Shaw completed his first five wicket haul in an innings, and Craig Miles reached 50 Championship wickets in a season for the first time.
Left with a session to bat and make inroads into the deficit, Gloucestershire reached stumps at 88-3, with Chris Dent 47 not out, the left hander passing 6,000 first class runs in the process.
Listen to the thoughts of Craig Miles at the close here :
Gloucestershire had seen plenty of Ben Brown in the reverse fixture at Hove earlier in the season when he made 113, and again here the Sussex captain was measured in his approach.
He survived one chance when on 60, but found useful support from all his partners, a combination which steadily saw Sussex not only past Gloucestershire’s first innings total but ultimately into a position to dictate the match.
Brown and Philip Salt were the overnight pair, and within six overs they had erased the remaining 21 runs by which Sussex trailed when play began, Brown cracking three early boundaries off the back foot past point.
Salt showed some smart footwork to avoid playing a ball from Payne onto his stumps, but having reached 42, his highest first class score, his attempted steer to third man off Miles was too delicate and Mustard took the catch with Sussex nine runs in front.
Brown was dealing extensively in boundaries at this point, and his half century, made from 75 balls, contained nine fours. His sixth wicket partner, Chris Jordan, had helped Brown add 30 runs ahead of Gloucestershire having the second new ball available, and the England all rounder was starting to open up when Miles trapped him lbw for 19, giving the 22 year old his 50th Championship wicket of the summer.
Sussex could still have chased batting points at this stage, but Brown was steering both the pace of the innings and the tactics. By lunch he was 65 not out, and Sussex were 95 ahead with four wickets in hand. The strong impression among the crowd was that the visitors were only looking to bat once.
Gloucestershire needed quick wickets after lunch if they were not to face a large first innings deficit but they managed only one, Robinson getting a touch to a ball down the leg side from Miles, and Mustard taking the catch.
The block to further progress was Jofra Archer, whose loose limbed frame offered a contrast to the organised and compact Brown. Archer seemed happiest with anything he could drive, twice punching Miles though extra cover. Jack Taylor, introduced with seven overs left for possible bonus points, posed different questions but Brown’s solution was to repeatedly sweep the off spinner, a shot he used to bring up an even paced hundred from 149 balls with 15 fours.
Under almost cloudless blue skies, the pair had added 85 when Archer proved less efficient than his captain at the sweep and was lbw to Jack Taylor for 39. Shaw’s fifth wicket finally arrived when Briggs was lbw for 3, and on the stroke of tea Miles bowled Magoffin for 12 just after Sussex’s lead had ticked past 200. It left Gloucestershire with plenty to do before a draw could be secured.
Unsurprisingly, Sussex attacked looking for quick wickets, and Chris Jordan broke the opening stand between skipper Gareth Roderick and Chris Dent when Roderick shouldered arms and was bowled for 9.
It brought in James Bracey in a tense situation, but encouraged between overs by Dent, he played spinner Briggs calmly until he was struck on the pad playing back and was adjudged lbw for 12.
The loss of George Hankins shortly before the close, also lbw to Briggs for 6, was a blow Gloucestershire could have done without, and it left night watchman Josh Shaw to keep Dent company until stumps, when they had reached 88-3, still 118 runs behind.
During the final session, Dent passed 6,000 first class runs on his 100th first class appearance. 47 not out overnight, he’s one of the pillars standing between Sussex and victory on the final day.
Loanee Josh Shaw kept Gloucestershire competitive with Sussex at the Brightside Ground as both teams battled for a possible top three finish in this final Division 2 Championship match of the season.
The 20 year old Yorkshireman broke a century stand for Sussex’s second wicket between Chris Nash and Luke Wells, and finished the day with his fourth four wicket haul of the season as Sussex reached 208-4 in 65 overs before bad light stopped play with the visitors 21 runs behind.
Earlier in the day, David Payne completed a third half century in successive Championship matches before being last out for 56, as Gloucestershire were dismissed for 229 in their first innings.
Listen to Josh Shaw’s close of play thoughts here :
The day began with Chris Dent and David Payne looking to reach personal milestones, having resumed 86 not out and 48 not out respectively. 12 overs had to be bowled before Sussex could take the new ball, but that proved sufficient to mop up the last three Gloucestershire wickets.
A cut by Payne off Jordan brought up his half century, and also broke the record for the eighth wicket stand against Sussex at Bristol, which had stood since 1907. Both approached the early overs with caution, and it was the introduction of Jofra Archer which accelerated the end of the Gloucestershire innings.
In his first over Dent, having reached 90, saw the chance of a fourth Championship century of the season disappear as he spooned a gentle return catch to the young Barbadian. Archer, who has an English passport, then bowled Josh Shaw for 5, and when David Payne also gave a caught and bowled chance to Chris Jordan, he was last out for 56 and Gloucestershire’s last three wickets had gone down for 28 runs.
It left Sussex a little over an hour to bat until lunch, and two of their most experienced players were soon together as 17 year old Tom Haines feathered an edge to ‘keeper Phil Mustard in Josh Shaw’s second over with only four runs on the board.
Left hander Luke Wells then joined Chris Nash, and two men with seven Championship centuries between them this season set about building a solid base for Sussex’s reply.
Aside from Matt Taylor’s big appeal for an edge by Wells to ‘keeper Mustard when he had made 13, there were no great alarms until lunch when Sussex had chalked off 46 runs towards the Gloucestershire total.
During lunch the ground staff indicated a shower might delay play during the afternoon session, and sure enough only five overs were possible before short interruptions for both rain and bad light, time which took away the possibility of Gloucestershire bowling enough overs to take the second new ball until the third day.
Nash and Wells’ greatest issue at this time was their running between the wickets, with a couple of narrow escapes from throws that narrowly missed the stumps. The pitch appeared increasingly placid and both men were happy to play off the back foot against Matt Taylor and David Payne, with only the occasional delivery that troubling them.
One, when Craig Miles was introduced, was edged towards the slips but dropped short of Chris Dent, and Nash brought up his fifty from 98 balls with his eighth boundary, driving Miles past mid on towards the pavilion.
The bounce was occasionally lower than expected, Wells having to adjust his defence to keep out Josh Shaw, but in his second spell, and in the last ten minutes before tea, Shaw gave Gloucestershire some reward in what had otherwise been a quiet afternoon session.
Firstly he induced an edge from Nash to Mustard for 66, and then bowled Fynn Hudson-Prentice for 9. Sussex had added 82 runs in the session, but remained 101 runs in arrears with seven wickets in hand.
Philip Salt joined Wells at the resumption, Wells picking off two leg side boundaries in an over from Miles before Jack Taylor’s off spin was introduced for the first time. It was a brief experiment, skipper Roderick turning back to his seamers for the remainder of the day.
Shaw’s persistence finally accounted for Wells, who having made 75 miscued a pull shot and found the safe hands of Matt Taylor at mid off, but eight overs later the light became too poor to continue, with Salt and his captain Ben Brown having nudged Sussex onto 208-4, 21 runs in arrears.
Two days remain, with another 15 overs to be bowled before Gloucestershire have a new ball available. As on so many occasions this summer, that phase could decide the match.
A century stand for the eighth wicket between Chris Dent and David Payne gave Gloucestershire’s first innings respectability in helpful bowling conditions on the first day of the season ending Championship fixture against Sussex at the Brightside Ground.
After a delayed start due to bad light, Sussex had no hesitation in opting to field and their accurate seam attack, lead by Steve Magoffin and Chris Jordan, had reduced Gloucestershire to 68-6 before Craig Miles and David Payne gave Chris Dent extended support.
Miles made a breezy 20 before Payne, who had made half centuries in each of the last two matches, again showed his ability with the bat alongside Dent, who on his 100th first class appearance worked patiently for more than three hours to complete his half century.
When bad light forced the players off, the pair had added 104 in 23 overs to take Gloucestershire to 201-7 from the 68 overs play possible in the day.
Hear Chris Dent’s close of play thoughts here :
Gloucestershire gave a Championship debut to teenager James Bracey, and also included Josh Shaw in a four man pace attack. Will Tavare and Liam Norwell were the players omitted from the defeat at Northampton.
The truncated morning session was dominated by the Sussex seam bowlers. Under overcast skies and with the ball nipping about off the wicket, it was more about survival than anything else for the Gloucestershire top order against extended spells for both Magoffin and Jordan, the latter starting with five successive maidens.
It was the England all rounder who broke the opening stand, Gloucestershire skipper Gareth Roderick losing his off stump when the only run on the board was a leg bye. It meant a testing situation on debut for James Bracey, but he initially judged the moving ball well and got off the mark with a neat clip off his legs before Magoffin bowled the left hander with a quicker ball from around the wicket.
Chris Dent survived a big appeal for lbw to Jordan and struck the first of only two boundaries before lunch in the twelfth over, but far from any respite when Sussex captain Ben Brown made a double change Olly Robinson struck immediately, removing George Hankins with one that came back a long way in his first over.
The ripple of applause that greeted Hamish Marshall’s arrival at the crease showed the warmth with which the retiring New Zealander is regarded by the Gloucestershire members, and he kept the determined Dent company until the interval, when Sussex’s miserly bowling had allowed Gloucestershire only 33 runs in 24 overs. It was a grip they were to tighten immediately upon the resumption when Magoffin returned for his second spell.
In his second over he trapped Marshall lbw for 14, and although Phil Mustard played one expansive cover drive, he too succumbed cheaply, edging Magoffin to ‘keeper Brown for 4. When Robinson bowled Jack Taylor for 5, Gloucestershire were 68 for 6.
What followed, however, redressed the balance of the day as the lower order, along with the previously obdurate Dent, gradually batted with greater freedom.
Miles, under apparent instruction from Dent to come forward at every opportunity, showed intent to put bat to ball from the outset, punching Archer through the covers when he was offered width and then driving Robinson past wide mid on. His frustration at being caught down the leg side by Brown off Archer having got to 20 was obvious.
The catalyst for releasing Sussex’s control on proceedings appeared to be a loose over from Archer, where Dent collected two boundaries and Payne one. In contrast to last season’s final game, when Dent made a double hundred with consummate ease against Glamorgan, here his half century here was a gritty effort, constructed in more than three hours and from 137 balls.
His seven boundaries showed good shot selection as Sussex had offered little that was wayward to that point, but the older ball reduced the threat and both batsmen were able to accelerate the scoring, adding 46 through until tea by which point Gloucestershire had scored more than 100 runs in the session.
Resuming at 143-7, the eighth wicket pair continued to wrestle the initiative, Dent working the ball neatly on the leg side and Payne playing from the crease with minimal backlift as the earlier help for the bowlers receded from the pitch.
Payne punched Robinson through the covers to avert the lowest Championship total of the summer, and when he clipped spinner Briggs past wide mid on, it earned Gloucestershire their first batting point before bad light forced the players off shortly after 4.30pm.
Dent had batted throughout the day for an unbeaten 86, which Payne’s 48 not out backed up his two fifties at Cardiff and Northampton. It was a determined effort which saw Gloucestershire close on 201-7, and which emphasised head coach Richard Dawson’s demand that the season shouldn’t fizzle out.
Sussex elected to bowl.
Gareth Roderick | Christopher Dent | Hamish Marshall | James Bracey | George Hankins | Phil Mustard | Jack Taylor | Craig Miles | David Payne | Matthew Taylor | Joshua Shaw |
Chris Nash | Thomas Haines | Luke Wells | Fynn Hudson-Prentice | Philip Salt | Oliver Robinson | Ben Brown | Chris Jordan | Jofra Archer | Danny Briggs | Steven Magoffin |