Cricket: Younger Newell stands firm to steady Sussex

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Sussex 315-9 v Derbyshire

ON Monday, with the confusion that characterises the calendar this year, Sussex and Derbyshire will play a Sunday League game.

The grudge match between the Sussex captain, Chris Adams, and his former colleagues will be a spicy one, given extra heat by Kim Barnett's tabloid description yesterday of Adams as a "cry baby" and "whinger". In the meantime, with Adams in the England squad, his old and new counties compete in the Championship at the Horsham Festival.

Sussex, of course, have put their own upheavals well behind them, and having propped up the Championship table last season, they have started 1998 in fighting mood - with Adams to the fore.

Yesterday their progress was left to Wasim Khan, an elegant left-hander signed from Warwickshire, and to the younger of the Sussex Newell brothers, Mark. In compiling the second century of his career, Newell played with care, compactly and with short-armed forcing strokes, content to accumulate. With wickets falling steadily, and the stand of 110 with Wasim being the only one of significance, it was the correct approach.

His brother Keith, who on Tuesday shared his stand of 181 with Mark, was one of two Dominic Cork victims in a particularly fiery over. Cork began the day bowling within himself, but as if suddenly aware that England were continuing to manage without him, he stepped up the pace after lunch.

A rising ball clipped Newell's uncertain bat and ballooned to short third man, and two balls later the stumps cartwheeled behind Shaun Humphries, now Sussex's first-choice wicketkeeper following Peter Moore's decision to concentrate on coaching. Cork continued to impress during the evening session but it was Mark Newell's day, and he nursed Sussex to a third batting point.