Derbyshire’s batters put their side in control on the second day of their LV= Insurance County Championship match at Hove.
They piled up 551 for eight before declaring and at the close Sussex were 142 for three in reply.
The Sussex bowlers toiled on a flat pitch and on a warm day and their worst period was after lunch, by which time Derbyshire were seven wickets down. Sussex did take an eighth wicket.
But then Anuj Dal (146 not out) and Mark Watt (55 not out) thumped a century partnership off just 115 balls. Their unbroken stand of 108 in 20 overs is a new ninth wicket record for Derbyshire against Sussex, beating the partnership between Maynard Ashcroft and Joe Humphries at Hove in 1904, a match in which the great CB Fry scored a double century.
In their partnership Dal, who scored his second century of the season from 236 deliveries, and Watt appeared to score at will and at one period Sussex captain Tom Haines handed over control of his side to Steve Finn. Haines had left the field for a spell but when he returned he fielded at long-off while Finn talked to the bowlers and set the fields.
A Sussex spokesman said: “It was easier for Finn to manage the field while Tom was on and off and preparing to bat.” But there was a sense of frustration among the spectators. “Come on,” one shouted, angrily, after a misfield. Sussex did succeed in changing the ball, but it didn’t make any difference.
Sussex are looking for their first championship victory sine April 2021. That looks well beyond them already and it didn’t get much better when they batted. Ali Orr was bowled for five by Sam Connors, who then dismissed Haines, driving, for 17. But then Tom Alsop (44) and Mohammad Rizwan (54 not out) added 95 before Alsop fell to a juggling catch at midwicket shortly before the close.
Derbyshire had resumed on 339 for five, with Wayne Madsen on 171 and Dal unbeaten on 45. The batsmen had already put on 136 and soon added the three runs needed to make it a sixth wicket record for the county against Sussex.
Sussex opened their attack with Sean Hunt and Jack Brooks and, for the first hour at least, bowled with purpose and aggression. Dal edged Hunt between wicketkeeper Oli Carter and first slip Tom Alsop to reach his fifty.
But Madsen had added just five runs to his score when he was dismissed by a fine delivery from Brooks. Madsen was surprised by the extra pace and bounce and edged to first slip where Alsop took a good catch high to his left. Madsen had faced 263 deliveries and hit 19 fours and a six.
Derbyshire were 390 for seven when Hayden Kerr, making his championship debut for the county, was lbw to Delray Rawlins as he attempted to pull. They reached lunch on 430 for seven, with Dal unbeaten on 89. Sussex took the eighth wicket when Rawlins drifted the ball into Alex Thomson’s pads to have him lbw for 27. But that was about as good as it got for Sussex.
Anuj Dal said: There’s a bit of variable bounce and that could make the game interesting on days three and four, especially if it turns. It was great for me batting with Wayne Madsen. He’s in the form of his life. It’s a really good wicket but Sussex bowled well in the morning. And Watty played a really crucial and vital knock for us at the end.”
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