County Round-up: Prior warms up for England by adding to Hampshire's misery

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Matt Prior produced batting of international quality ahead of next week's opening Test by guiding Sussex to a victory over Hampshire at Hove that moves them up to fourth in the First Division table.

Hampshire's fifth defeat of the season leaves them adrift at the bottom, 35 points behind Worcestershire, who were overtaken by Yorkshire when they lost by six wickets at Scarborough.

England wicketkeeper Prior hit an unbeaten 97 as Sussex completed a comfortable five-wicket win. His last two scoring strokes against left-arm spinner Danny Briggs raised his boundary count to 12 but he was denied his hundred as Ollie Rayner hit the winning runs off Sean Ervine.

Hampshire had entertained hopes of pulling off a victory overnight with Sussex three down and still 151 short of their target of 233 but the home side dominated the morning session and by lunch needed only 49 more.

An early wicket for Hampshire captain Dominic Cork – who turns 40 next month – had been their only setback. Cork had Luke Wells caught at first slip in his third over of the morning but thereafter Prior and Andy Hodd made careful but brisk progress.

Hampshire's cause was not helped when leg-spinner Imran Tahir was banished from their attack for repeatedly running on the pitch. The dismissal of Hodd, bowled by Briggs after lunch, was the visitors' only further success.

Yorkshire owed their second Championship win of the season to a half-century from Joe Root, the 20-year-old batsman's fourth in a promising debut season. Root displays composure beyond his years, a quality Yorkshire have been lacking of late. There will be relief that Jacques Rudolph, whose experience they have badly missed, is back with them for the remaining games, starting with next week's Roses match, although he has not yet been granted a work permit.

Yorkshire resumed needing 54 and Root steered them home in less than an hour despite the loss of overnight partner Jonny Bairstow, whose positive start brought him three boundaries before he was neatly stumped by Ben Scott off Saeed Ajmal.

Gary Ballance clinched victory by driving Jack Shantry to the cover boundary but Yorkshire's celebrations were tempered by a two-point deduction for slow over rate, a consequence in part of out-of-form leg-spinner Adil Rashid bowling only four overs in the match.

Derbyshire made sure a career-best 167 by 20-year-old Chesney Hughes did not go to waste in the Second Division at Derby, bowling out Glamorgan for precisely the same score to win by 186 runs, with Tony Palladino taking 5 for 50.

Comments