Cricket: Sussex wilt in the sun

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The Independent Online
Leicestershire 566-8 dec Sussex 319 and 214 Leics win by inns and 33 runs

SUSSEX SUBSIDED slowly in the sunshine yesterday, teased out by left-arm spinner Matthew Brimson. The visitors also found the occasional medium pace of Darren Maddy useful early in the day, finding movement on a flat Arundel wicket, while Alan Mullally has bowled better than his match tally of four victims suggests.

Leicestershire have been without Mike Kasprowicz since Friday morning, when he limped off with a tweaked hamstring, and though Chris Lewis fielded yesterday he did not bowl - his growing encyclopaedia of mysterious and debilitating ailments now includes pins and needles, presumably tingling enough to register on the Richter Scale.

The champions really should have secured this victory earlier than 3pm. As Michael Strong skied off-spinner Carl Crowe high towards Mullally at mid-on early in the afternoon he gave no indication he was going to catch the ball. Once it was spilt the bowling seemed to go on autopilot, content to wait for inevitable success, while the Sussex tail perked up.

A maiden 50 for wicket-keeper Nick Wilton extended the resistance. The first-choice keeper, Shaun Humphries, gave way to Wilton for this game not because of below-standard glovework, but because he has lost confidence in his batting. Wilton took his opportunity eagerly. Opening bowler Strong, on his Championship debut, has also enjoyed batting at Arundel.

Sussex began the day two down, needing a further 198 to make Leicestershire pad up for a second time. But within 20 minutes their doughty skipper, Chris Adams, had been undone by a beautiful, slanted ball from Mullally. Wasim Khan resisted 42 overs for 16, and Tony Cottey showed every intention of batting until stumps before he tried to cut Crowe once too often.

After the defiance of Strong and Wilton, it was down to the last pair, Jason Lewry and Mark Robinson, always a sign for groundsmen to prime the roller, and Leicestershire were home by an innings and 33 runs.