Cricket: Jarvis raises tempo

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The Independent Online
Somerset 360 and 302-8 dec

Sussex 280 and 26-0

PAUL JARVIS had rewarded his new employers, Sussex, with just 18 Championship wickets from eight games before yesterday, when a blistering seven- wicket afternoon spell threatened to upset Somerset's declaration calculations. But he then left the field with an abdominal strain, while Andy Caddick and Harvey Trump batted Somerset into an evening closure. The visitors gave Sussex 11 overs and a day to make 383, which would be the highest score of the match.

While Somerset controlled most of the match, that much- needed venom from Jarvis at least set the pendulum swinging. If he could have kept it up a reachable Sussex total was suddenly imaginable, and a draw remains a possibility.

At midday, with seagulls wheeling overhead and Marcus Trescothick scything the grass, it could have been the start of a Daphne Du Maurier novel. In fact this bulky 19-year-old left- hander from Keynsham partners Mark Lathwell in the best exhibition of village cricket in the world, a suitably bucolic start to Somerset's batting and a mightily effective one.

Neither player is a Fred Astaire of the crease, preferring brawny forearms to fancy footwork, and yesterday morning they set off at five an over to give Sussex a stern total. Lathwell, apart from the half- hour before lunch when he was becalmed on 47, was his usual belligerent self as Somerset built on their first-innings advantage of 80 runs.

Purists will shake their heads at the fact that both men were out when close to their centuries, but Lathwell made 124 in the first innings and Trescothick has inked his place as Lathwell's partner.

Eddie Hemmings had taken seven Somerset wickets in the first innings and then it was Trump's turn to find spin, and above all bounce, from the Hove strip. Trump first played for Somerset in 1988 and has yet to earn a county cap in an on- off career that has been more off than on since Mushtaq Ahmed came to Taunton for the start of the 1993 season.

But Mushtaq is now back in Pakistan preparing for a series against Sri lanka, and Trump is determined to hold on to his job. He earned figures of six for 68 from Sussex's first innings, and suitably shared the new ball with Caddick.