Cricket: Salisbury's day

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Sussex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .228 and 238

Middlesex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .87 and 231

Sussex won by 148 runs

IAN SALISBURY took six wickets, for the first time since 1992, as Sussex coasted to victory here yesterday. In a mere 17 overs he battled, teased and dismissed a six-pack of Middlesex batsmen. On this showing Salisbury deserves to take his chance against the South Africans for the first Test although it is unlikely that those gritty opponents will be so accommodating. Chasing 380 to win, nearly five times as many as they managed first time around, Middlesex took the easy route - they capitulated.

The initial damage was done by Franklyn Stephenson, who bagged five for 25 in the first innnings, and he dismissed both the batsmen who might have been expected to settle in for the big innings that was required. Desmond Haynes was trapped leg before, only half forward. Mike Gatting groped at one and only succeeded in tickling it to the wicketkeeper. The score was a mere 18.

Middlesex rallied briefly, with Mike Roseberry and Mark Ramprakash adding 72, the latter launching Eddie Hemmings for a large six over long on when the spinner came on before lunch. After the break, however, Hemmings took his revenge, tricking Ramprakash into giving a bat-pad catch to Bill Athey.

Enter Salisbury, who had mysteriously been kept back until the middle of the afternoon. John Carr, looking uncomfortable against spin, scratched around for nearly an hour compiling nine before Salisbury nailed him. Meanwhile, Roseberry, who had raced to an 85-ball fifty, became becalmed. He, too, found the leg spinner difficult to read and was caught behind for 76.

Salisbury dismissed Feltham and then went through the tail as a top-class leg spinner should, bowling Johnson and Fraser in consecutive overs. So often was he beating the bat, inducing false shots and turning the ball behind a batsman's legs that he must have thought he was the new Shane Warne.

Earlier, Martin Speight had contributed 38 of the 42 runs Sussex added to their overnight total. He was finally dismissed when Gatting ran back 30 yards from first slip to hold on to a miscued drive. Fine sight that it was, one could not help but feel sympathy for Speight who was three runs short of his century.