Cricket: Jarvis hands out harsh punishment

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The Independent Online
Sussex 358-7 dec; South Africa 312-5

HAVING set the tone, Sussex could hardly complain when the South Africans settled for the colourless option here. Some dashing strokes from Paul Jarvis yesterday morning were all very well, but as an apology for what had gone before the spirit of adventure from the hosts arrived rather too late in an otherwise lifeless contest. As for complaints, these came from the tourists' camp.

'It's a fantastic wicket,' Mike Procter, the South African coach, said, 'and we would have loved to have batted on it first.' And got on with it, was the real message. Instead, Sussex rarely emerged from their shell and Procter, one of the most exciting cricketers of his generation, confidently predicted this match was heading for a draw - and slowly.

Thank heavens, then, for Jarvis. Ably supported by Nicky Phillips, he added rapidly to his overnight 32. When Richard Snell was introduced to the attack, Jarvis took him for two boundaries to reach his first half-century for Sussex and added another four before the over was out.

The spinner Pat Symcox also received some harsh treatment from each half of a second-wicket partnership ultimately worth three figures when the declaration was signalled. In 14 sunny overs, the pair had added 76, Jarvis, Sussex's second-highest scorer on 70, and Symcox welcoming the halt after conceding 32 runs from his last two overs.

Nor was Jarvis quite finished. Opening the bowling, he had Andrew Hudson caught behind off his sixth ball and trimmed Daryll Cullinan's bails for a duck. There was also an exciting introduction to first-class cricket for Jason Lewry, the left-arm seamer's eight delivery accounting for Gary Kirsten.

These successes, though, were bonuses and Hansie Cronje and Kepler Wessels, back on his former county ground, had the time, and took it, in making 94 and 77 respectively besides featuring in a century partnership.