Painstaking Prior holds up Warwickshire's title hopes

Warwickshire 346 Sussex 482-9
Click to follow
The Independent Online

Misfields, mishaps and mistakes littered the action yesterday as the tension got to players on both sides. Warwickshire suffered most, the First Division leaders and pretenders to Sussex's Championship crown giving away an unhealthy number of runs as their fielders fumbled, tumbled or stumbled in pursuit of the ball.

Misfields, mishaps and mistakes littered the action yesterday as the tension got to players on both sides. Warwickshire suffered most, the First Division leaders and pretenders to Sussex's Championship crown giving away an unhealthy number of runs as their fielders fumbled, tumbled or stumbled in pursuit of the ball.

The costliest cock-up was by Jonathan Trott, who put down the easiest of chances at slip when Matt Prior was on 21. Another 74 runs came off the Sussex wicketkeeper's bat.

But there were plenty of misses among the Sussex hits as well. Richard Montgomerie, who had looked in glorious form the evening before, had a touch of the "morning afters", leaving one from Heath Streak that nipped back and hit his off stump.

His captain, Chris Adams, decided on an expansive drive very early in his innings and drew an acrobatic leap and brilliant take from Trott. But in general, thanks chiefly to Prior's luck and vigilance as he compiled his second score in the 90s in successive innings, Sussex ground their way into the lead and pretty much guaranteed a draw.

Sussex had to deal with improved bowling, far superior to what they faced the previous day. That as much as anything contributed to the inordinately slow scoring rate before lunch, which saw 77 runs from 35 overs.

Warwickshire heads drooped and hearts sank towards the end of the day as the scoring rate increased from a snail's pace to sluggish, James Kirtley working his way to the third half-century of his first-class career, adding 70 infuriating runs for the last wicket with Mohammad Akram.

* Kabir Ali has been ruled out of England's NatWest Challenge matches against India with a side strain. The Glamorgan seamer Alex Wharf will take his place in the 14-man squad. Ali's fitness will be reviewed prior to September's Champions Trophy.

Comments