Cricket: Twose treble tilts balance of power

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The Independent Online
Sussex 131; Warwickshire 9-2

THEY say things happen in threes and yesterday Roger Twose happily proved the point here. But then Warwickshire, the Championship leaders, have been making things happen all summer long and it should have come as no great surprise when a bit of swing and seam from their first-change bowler disturbed a hitherto peaceful seaside setting.

Twose took off in the 23rd over as Sussex looked to continue a leisurely stroll at 59 for 1. By the end of it they were on the slipway, Twose taking three wickets in six deliveries for the cost of a no-ball. Bill Athey went leg before and promptly fell over, while Alan Wells and Martin Speight were a pair of sitting ducks.

Wells, confirmed in the morning as captain of the England A team to tour India this winter, had won the toss and decided to bat after the loss of 49 overs to the weather. Warwickshire were apparently pleasantly surprised by his decision because once Twose had started the rot there was no stopping it.

Nor, it seemed, Warwickshire's charge to a 10th win as they pocketed maximum bowling points. In the meantime, while Twose finished with 3 for 23, Tim Munton completed the mopping up inside 55 overs.

Munton had earlier removed Neil Lenham and he subsequently took out Stephenson, Jarvis and Giddins to return 4 for 22. At this point, Warwickshire were understandably cock-a-hoop, though other title contenders should perhaps wait on before throwing in the towel.

Because, as the shadows lengthened, the tide began to turn. First Franklyn Stephenson whipped out the nightwatchman Richard Davis for 0, and then Twose also failed to trouble the scorers when he was bowled by Paul Jarvis in the second over, Warwickshire wobbling at 2 for 2. This green wicket could be fun.