Reece posts half-century on Day One

Friday 3rd May 2024
Photography by: David Griffin, report by ECB Writers' Network

Derbyshire opener Luis Reece scored fifty on the opening day at The County Ground under challenging conditions.

Aneurin Donald hit nine fours in his 44, which came off 46 balls, but when rain prevented any further play shortly after 3pm, Derbyshire were 189 for 8.

Former Derbyshire all-rounder Fynn Hudson-Prentice took 2 for 52 including the wicket of Reece who top scored with 50 from 78 balls.

Before the start of play, the teams observed a minute’s silence in memory of the Worcestershire spinner Josh Baker who died this week at the age of 20.

Under overcast skies with the floodlights on, it was no surprise Sussex decided to bowl although initially they did not make the best use of the conditions.

Robinson was cut for four by David Lloyd and bowled a no ball in his opening over, but removed the Derbyshire skipper in his next.

Lloyd offered no shot to a ball that was too straight to leave and was lbw, but both Robinson and Jayden Seales struggled to maintain a consistent line before the England paceman found his rhythm with three consecutive maidens.

Reece and Brooke Guest took the score to 50 before Fynn Hudson-Prentice got one to straighten and take out Guest’s off stump.

Batting was awkward in the murky light but Sussex were gifted some cheap wickets after Wayne Madsen, in his 600th innings in all formats for Derbyshire, was brilliantly caught behind by John Simpson leg glancing Tom Clark.

Simpson then dropped Matt Lamb second ball but two balls later, he played across a ball on off stump from Danny Lamb and was lbw.

Robinson continued to bowl tightly after lunch, starting with two more maidens, before the spell was broken in spectacular fashion.

Donald cut and drove Robinson for three fours in an over which included a no ball and cost 17 and the flow of runs continued with Reece dispatching Hudson-Prentice to the ropes to reach 50 from 77 balls.

But Hudson-Prentice responded with another excellent delivery that straightened enough to take Reece’s off stump.

Robinson claimed his second wicket when Anuj Dal played across one the next ball after the umpires agreed to a ball change before Donald’s counter-attacking innings ended in disappointing fashion.

Seales began his second spell with a short and wide loosener that Donald slapped into the hands of substitute fielder Oli Carter at cover.

When Zak Chappell was run out in the next over taking on the arm of Tom Haines at mid on, Derbyshire were 163 for 8 but some blows from Blair Tickner frustrated Sussex before rain brought an early close.

Derbyshire opener Luis Reece said: “It was good bowling conditions today, lights on all day, gloomy and on a wicket that was quite tacky. I think it was another day of nearly, in that every time we started to get our noses in front, we lost a cluster of wickets.

“We’re a bit disappointed to be in the position that we are but we’re not a million miles away, because if you group enough balls in the right area there’s plenty in this wicket and the rain that’s come this afternoon you’d like to think it will keep the pitch fairly fresh.

“I thought we played with a bit more intensity, a bit more freedom and I think that’s the way we want to be, to play with that attacking nature to put bowlers under pressure. We’ve just got to do it for longer, even if we were a couple of wickets less than what we are now I think we would be in the box seat.

“We are moving in the right direction and are finding a bit of a rhythm and a tempo to our batting and hopefully around the corner we’ll be exactly where we want to be.”

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