Cricket: Lewry's swing dazzles Derbyshire

Sussex 271 & 176 Derbyshire 226 & 136 Sussex win by 85 runs
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JASON LEWRY'S controlled, accurate swing bowling exposed some seriously flawed Derbyshire batting techniques and his career-best performance of 7 for 38 took Sussex to an emphatic victory that required only 37 overs.

When Sussex themselves were losing their last six wickets for only 29 runs in 17 overs, Derbyshire were left to make 222 for victory; moreover, with the clouds high and the sun out, the ball no longer darted around off the seam as it had earlier.

Some sort of a decent contest, therefore, seemed in prospect. Lewry, though, produced as his loosener a lavish inswinger of full length that was too good for Adrian Rollins and thereafter the sight of the ball swinging seemed to transfix those who followed.

In his next over, lack of footwork by Steve Titchard and Robin Weston left them stranded on the crease and palpably lbw to further balls of a full length. When Ben Spendlove, allowing for the swing, was undone by one that went straight on it was 34 for 4.

Throughout all this, Michael Slater had got his feet moving and worked the bowling around as if he at least was aware that Sussex, with only three front-line bowlers, would have problems if the new ball could be seen off.

On the stroke of lunch, however, he aimed to push Lewry through midwicket, missed and was given out lbw. He had completed what he thought was a single before the verdict dawned on him, and, with the ball moving so much and Slater taking guard out of his crease,perhaps felt he was hard done by.

After thus picking up five wickets in his first seven overs, Lewry was able to adjourn for lunch and return refreshed. It looked as if Sussex might have had a problem when Taylor disappeared for 26 off two overs, but Mark Robinson not only kept things tight but often extracted awkward bounce.

This accounted for Karl Krikken to a catch that appeared to reach slip via some part of the wicketkeeper's anatomy. Dominic Cork showed what might have been possible on a basically good pitch, but the dismissals of Ian Blackwell and Philip DeFreitas suggested that it was not only in their technique that Derbyshire's batsmen were lacking. Both got themselves out when a little sensible support for their captain might have given Sussex food for thought. For DeFreitas it was a disappointing end to a day when he had taken 6 for 41 and finished needing only one wicket for 1,000 victims in first-class cricket.

Derbyshire followers may have been puzzled about this performance from a bowler who was only selected because of an injury to Ryan Eagleson, whose first-class debut it would have been.