Sussex claim victory on nail-biting final day against Gloucestershire

22 April 2024

Sussex overcame stubborn Gloucestershire resistance to squeeze home by four wickets at Hove and go top of the Vitality County Championship second division.

Chasing 144 to win in 49 overs, they still needed 29 when left-arm spinner Zafar Gohar picked up his fifth wicket but the nerveless Cheteshwar Pujara guided Sussex to victory with an unbeaten 44.

Miles Hammond (77) and Gohar (52) had given Gloucestershire hope with a seventh-wicket stand of 87, batting through the morning session to lodge their second half-centuries of the match.

Hammond became one of two victims in three balls for off-spinner Jack Carson and Jayden Seales finished the innings with wickets from successive deliveries as Gloucestershire were dismissed for 205.

Wary of the threat of rain, Sussex attacked the chase vigorously but the wily Gohar, who opened the bowling, stymied their progress by exploiting some turn to remove all three left-handers in Sussex’s top three.  

He had Tom Clark caught at short-leg off bat and pad in his second over and in his next the Pakistani had Tom Alsop lbw on the back foot. Tom Haines was beaten in the flight and easily stumped looking to hit Gohar over the top and in the last over before tea James Coles was well taken low down at second slip by Ben Charlesworth as he propped forward.

Pujara and John Simpson steered their team into calmer waters by adding 42 before Gloucestershire caused more palpitations in the Hove crowd with wickets in successive overs. Simpson dragged a short ball in Dom Goodman’s first over to mid-wicket and Fynn Hudson-Prentice became Gohar’s fifth victim when he missed a sweep. With two fifties in the match and eight wickets Gohar didn’t deserve to be on the losing team.

Pujara, though, showed his experience and Danny Lamb passed 1,000 first-class runs when he hit the winning boundary.

Gloucestershire went down fighting, but were left to regret their collapse during the final session on day three when they slumped to 79 for 6.

Hammond and Gohar looked fairly comfortable before lunch against both seam and spin. The ball did little off the straight and although Sussex captain Simpson wasn’t afraid to mix things up – he used seven bowlers during the session – there was no sign of a breakthrough as 74 runs were added by the eighth-wicket pair.

Simpson is developing a happy knack of making inspired bowling changes though. He opted to give Jack Carson the new ball and his hunch paid off when the off-spinner broke through. Hammond had faced 204 balls for his 77 and looked assured, but over the wicket to the left-hander, Carson got one to straighten just enough to beat a defensive push. Goodman was then deceived by a quicker delivery and bagged a pair.

Zaman Akhter and Gohar added a useful 39 for the ninth wicket before Simpson made another profitable switch, bringing back Seales to wrap up the innings with his first two deliveries. Gohar, who’d resisted for nearly three hours for his 52, drove a slower ball to extra cover and last man Ajeet Singh Dale fenced to third slip. Seales finished with match figures of 6 for 90 after claiming 4 for 18 from 16.2 overs in the second innings.



  • Latest news