Cricket: Adams restored to form

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The Independent Online
Sussex 189 & 265-5 Kent 211

AFTER two attritional first innings in which little advantage was taken, on a slow wicket and a lush, grudging outfield, two leading members of the new-look Sussex put the visitors in command yesterday afternoon. But even they could not kick much life into the contest.

The higher-profile one is their captain, Chris Adams, the big-money signing from troubled Derbyshire. His run of early-season form ended, sadly, with his long-awaited England call-up for the Texaco Trophy. However, his 84 here was a belligerent and, in the context of the game, a brisk contribution, gaining further momentum once he had passed a restorative fifty. He fell at tea, cutting hard at Matthew Fleming.

His partner is less well known. That has not been helped by the confusion in this match in which he has so far been identified on wire-service scoreboards as his team-mate AA Khan. Wasim of that ilk moved south from Warwickshire in search of first XI cricket, and has made the most of it. This compact, watchful left-hander has now past fifty four times in his last six Championship innings, converting one of those to three figures in a losing cause against Derby.

With Adams he put on 138, to add to his solid opening partnership with Toby Peirce. There was a significant reprieve in the Adams-Khan alliance, however, when the Sussex captain, on 31, top-edged a pull at Fleming, and the former Sussex captain, Alan Wells, could not judge the ball successfully when scampering back at midwicket. Wells was blameless, but the shot was misconceived.

The weather, ever threatening, finally intervened yesterday morning, but in spite of pessimistic local forecasts only an hour's play was lost to drizzle. This, given fair conditions today, will not seriously effect the equation, and thanks to their graft yesterday this is now in the hands of Sussex. However, the match, which a sympathetic observer would respect for its grittiness but others would deem soporific, has hardly created the festival atmosphere that this ground deserves.