Cricket: Welcome return puts Igglesden in the swing

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The Independent Online
Sussex 59-4 v Kent

ALTHOUGH yesterday's weather allowed only 22 overs, they were full of interest and incident. Sussex, who were put in, found the damp overcast conditions testing in the extreme and when bad light brought things to an end, one over after tea, they had reached 59 for 4.

The most significant aspect of it all was the eight-over spell by Alan Igglesden with the new ball. These were the first he had bowled in a first-class match since hurting himself against Yorkshire on 26 June. On a slow pitch he found life and movement away from the bat, was well worth the four slips he was given and took 1 for 20.

There was a welcome fluency and rhythm about his approach and it was most noticeable that he kept the ball well up to the bat giving it every chance to swing. He took the first wicket to fall with a beauty when he beat and bowled Jamie Hall with an outswinger which must have started on middle and leg before beating a shuffling defensive stroke and hitting the off-stump.

The other bowler to catch the eye was Matthew Fleming, who usually does so at least once a match with either bat or ball, if not in the field as well. He took two wickets, bringing his tally this season to 22 at around 28 runs each, in addition to scoring 549 runs at an average of 42.

There is no more determined or whole-hearted cricketer in the game and, at a time when England so badly need an all-rounder, one would have thought he was eminently worthy of consideration.

A start was made at 2.45pm and Bill Athey showed what fine form he is in as he fairly rattled the score along at the start. Hall was then bowled and in the next over Athey played Martin McCague firmly off his legs and was very well caught low down at forward short-leg by Nigel Llong.

Fleming succeeded McCague and in his first over made one leave Alan Wells who, on the back foot, edged low to Carl Hooper at first slip. His second wicket came in the one over after tea when, after being played through midwicket for four, he induced Keith Greenfield to follow one outside the off-stump and Steve Marsh held a good catch falling to his right.

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