LV= County Championship 2023: Round 6 May 11th - May 14th - Live Scores, Match Reports, Results, Scorecards
Here are all the Live Scores, Match Reports, Results, Stats and Scorecards for Round 6 of the LV= County Championship 2023.
Batting Stats Division One
Top Tournament Stats: LV= County Championship 2023 Division 1
Warwickshire underlined their LV=Insurance County Championship title-chasing credentials by completing a four-wicket win over fellow challengers Essex inside three days at Edgbaston.
The story of seam-bowling dominance continued into the third day as Essex were bowled out in their second innings for 215. Chris Rushworth exploited helpful overhead conditions to finish with four for 62 (eight for 90 in the match) while Hassan Ali took four for 48.
That left a victory target of 100 and, as batting remained far from straightforward, Warwickshire had to work hard to get there, reaching 100 for six from 27.2 overs.
The skills of Rushworth and Hassan, ably supported in the seam department by Olly Hannon-Dalby and Ed Barnard, were the decisive factor in a fast-moving match which yielded a result on the third day despite the loss of 41 overs to the weather on the first two.
A first defeat of the season came as a jolt for Essex after their impressive display in the draw against champions Surrey last week. Warwickshire’s third win in five games continued a strong start that has far exceeded expectations after they avoided relegation by the skin of their teeth last September.
After Essex resumed on the third morning on 86 for four, still trailing by 30, overnight pair Matt Critchley and Michael Pepper took their side in front but neither lasted much longer as three wickets fell in 15 balls. Critchley edged Hassan Ali to Rob Yates at first slip and Rushworth pinned Pepper lbw and had Doug Bracewell brilliantly caught by Sam Hain at second slip.
Simon Harmer (50 not out, 79 balls) and Shane Snater (31, 32) attacked effectively to ensure they would at least have something to bowl at, but the relentless seam team kept nagging away. Snater was snared lbw by Hannon-Dalby, and Hassan Ali had Sam Cook caught at long leg and Jamie Porter taken at slip.
Chasing 100 in a minimum of 73 overs, Warwickshire had plenty of time but Alex Davies sought to do the job quickly and fell lbw to Cook when he missed an attempt to send the ball into the River Rea.
Batting remained awkward as Essex’s seamers showed their skills. Yates edged Porter into the cordon and when Bracewell produced two superb away-cutters to remove Hain and Will Rhodes in three balls, it was 65 for four and Essex had a glimmer of hope.
Dan Mousley and Barnard added an important 21 and, though the dismissal of Mousley and Michael Burgess in successive overs had a few home nerves jangling at 91 for six, Barnard (23 not out, 28 balls) steered his team home.
Lancashire and Somerset played out a draw that keeps both teams hovering above the relegation places in the Championship table, seventh and eighth respectively, following a final day stalemate at Emirates Old Trafford.
Somerset batted through the entire day, extended their second innings to 398 for five and 433 runs ahead, with James Rew adding to his burgeoning reputation in making an unbeaten 118, his second century of the match, and becoming the leading run-scorer in the Championship.
Lancashire eventually rested their front-line attack, throwing the ball to their batters – and wicketkeeper – for the second half of the day before the teams shook hands at 4.50pm.
Starting on 114 for three and ahead by 149 runs, Somerset progressed steadily through the morning session, Tom Lammonby posting a season-best 78 before his failed attempt to launch Tom Hartley towards the new hotel being constructed at midwicket presented George Bell with an easy stumping.
Tom Kohler-Cadmore was the other morning departure for 11 after playing inside a Will Williams delivery that knocked back his off stump.
Rew provided some acceleration, hitting five boundaries off eight deliveries once the visitors lead had passed the 200-mark, with the nineteen-year-old reaching a 92-ball fifty early in the afternoon.
But the game drifted along from that point and just after the halfway stage of the day, with the lead now beyond 300 and no declaration forthcoming, there was the rare sight of two batters, Steven Croft and Dane Vilas, sharing the second new ball. Josh Bohannon went behind the stumps as wicketkeeper Bell also undertook bowling duties.
For Croft it was a return to seam-up bowling for the first time since the early part of his lengthy career, while Vilas added eleven overs of right-arm medium pace to his previous solitary over in a Red Rose shirt.
That was followed by Bell sending down ten overs of off spin with Lancashire using nine bowlers in a first-class innings for the first time since 2003.
Rew reached his second century of the match just before tea from 196 balls, the batter only giving the barest of waves with the bat to acknowledge the landmark, while Kasey Aldridge struck an unbeaten 101 – reaching his maiden first-class century in style with a pull for six – in a partnership of 192.
But the afternoon’s play seemed to many to be to be a somewhat farcical conclusion to the match from which Lancashire took nine points and Somerset ten.
Lancashire are not in Championship action for a month until they host Hampshire at Southport while Somerset travel to Lord’s to face Middlesex next week.
Surrey 380 & 73/1 beat Middlesex 209 & 240 by nine wickets
Surrey’s relentless five-pronged pace attack, superbly supported by England Test wicketkeeper Ben Foakes, overwhelmed Middlesex as the county champions eased to a nine-wicket victory at the Kia Oval.
Foakes took six catches, a record in a first-class innings for Surrey against their London rivals, two of them high-class efforts, while Jordan Clark’s 4 for 25 headed an irresistible collective performance with the ball that also included day four wickets for Sean Abbott, Kemar Roach and Gus Atkinson. Dan Worrall, who took 5 for 48 in Middlesex’s first innings 209, went wicketless second time around.
Only the combative Ryan Higgins, who hit 42 from 71 balls, and tailender Ethan Bamber, with a bright unbeaten 25, offered any fight with the bat as Middlesex slid from their overnight 128 for 3 to 240 all out.
That left Surrey needing a mere 70 for a third win in five LV= Insurance County Championship matches, the 22-point haul maintaining their position at top of Division One and reminding everyone – should any reminder be required – of their determination to defend last summer’s title triumph by taking the crown again.
Rory Burns, Surrey’s captain, could add only 14 to his first innings 88 before nicking Tim Murtagh to slip but Ryan Patel and Dom Sibley, not out on 37 and 21 respectively, put on an unbroken 56 to ease Surrey to their first championship win against Middlesex since 2012.
Clark claimed the final day scalps of Luke Hollman, Middlesex captain Toby Roland-Jones and all-rounder Higgins, while Abbott sent back John Simpson and last man Murtagh to earn himself 3 for 31. Atkinson added the wicket of Pieter Malan to finish with 2 for 37.
It took Surrey only 21 balls to make an initial breakthrough on day four, with Roach straightening one just enough from around the wicket to the left-handed Max Holden to brush the edge of his defensive bat on its way into the safe gloves of keeper Foakes.
Holden, who had battled hard to keep Surrey’s five-pronged pace attack at bay on the third evening, scored 43 after adding just a single to his overnight score.
Roach tormented Simpson, another left-hander, with his ability to curve the ball away from the line of off stump and beat him several times, but it was Abbott who claimed the scalp of Middlesex’s wicketkeeper in the morning’s 11th over.
And it was a brilliant diving legside catch by Foakes which ended Simpson’s resistance on 23 after he flicked at a rising ball angled across him by Australian paceman Abbott from around the wicket.
Higgins did his best to counter-attack, twice driving Roach for four between the bowler and mid off when the West Indies fast bowler slightly overpitched, but an injured Malan – having come in at No 7 with Mark Stoneman as his runner – lasted just ten balls for one before falling to an excellent tumbling catch at point by Patel off Atkinson.
That wicket came from Atkinson’s fourth ball, after he had replaced Abbott at the Vauxhall End, and it maintained the 25-year-old’s significant impact on the game following his first innings 3 for 18 and the dismissal of Stoneman on the third afternoon.
Hollman was the next to go, on four, giving a diving Foakes his sixth catch of the innings when the left-hander thick-edged a superb ball from Clark – again from an around the wicket angle.
Higgins, on 28, was dropped above his head by Sibley at first slip when he wafted at another sharp, lifting ball from the hostile Atkinson, but Clark then had Roland-Jones caught by Sibley for six.
Bamber unfurled some lovely offside strokes as he hung around gamely with Higgins but it took Surrey’s bowlers just 2.4 overs after the lunch interval to wrap up Middlesex’s innings.
Higgins top-edged a pull at Clark to Roach on the deep mid wicket ropes and Murtagh was bowled for a duck as he stepped away to swing optimistically at Abbott.
Northamptonshire 158 and 72
Nottinghamshire won by an innings and 25 runs
Dane Paterson claimed five wickets for 16, including a devastating opening spell which removed Northamptonshire’s top order, and propelled the hosts to a second consecutive home defeat by an innings and 25 runs on the third day of this LV= Insurance County Championship match at Wantage Road.
South African international Paterson proved unplayable with Northamptonshire having few answers in overcast conditions offering prodigious movement for the seamers. Paterson posed a constant challenge around off-stump with a metronomic line and length. His first four scalps came in an opening burst of eight overs, all thanks to catches behind the wicket which left the Steelbacks reeling at 11 for four. Despite Saif Zaib (26) putting up some resistance, they never recovered and were all out for 72.
It follows Northamptonshire’s first innings collapse on day two when they lost seven wickets for 17 runs and a similar dispiriting batting display in their last home game against Hampshire which also ended in an innings defeat.
Earlier Joe Clarke (76) scored his second half-century of the season to give Nottinghamshire a healthy 97-run lead which could have been higher but for career best figures of four for 24 for James Sales and four wickets for Tom Taylor as the visitors’ last four wickets fell for just 13 runs. But any hopes that their efforts would open the game back up for Northamptonshire were soon dashed when Paterson had ball in hand.
Nottinghamshire resumed one run behind on 157 for four in testing conditions, the home bowlers frequently beating the bat and drawing the batters into playing outside off-stump.
They made early in roads, taking two wickets in five balls. Taylor picked up his third of the innings when Lyndon James (26) drove loosely to first slip where Ricardo Vasconcelos took a sharp catch. Steven Mullaney went quickly lbw without scoring shouldering arms to Jack White.
By this stage Nottinghamshire were 184 for six, just 26 ahead and Northamptonshire were hopeful of making short work of the lower order. But Liam Patterson-White stuck around with Clarke in a stand worth 58 in 17 overs to steady the ship.
In between unplayable deliveries, Northamptonshire were often guilty of straying from their line allowing Nottinghamshire to cash in, with Clarke passing 50 thanks to a wide legside delivery. Fielding mishaps did not help their cause either as they conceded 14 byes and five wides, while Patterson-White was dropped in the slips on 9.
Ultimately Nottinghamshire’s last four wickets folded quickly, James (15) playing an extravagant drive to Sales giving Vasconcelos a fourth slip catch.
Clarke had played largely fluently, sweetly timing the ball to the boundary, stroking 10 fours in four hours at the crease. But he had also played and missed on several occasions and his innings ended in ignominious fashion, when he flashed needlessly at a wide ball from Sales, steering it straight to deep backward point where Buckingham took a good catch.
Sales picked up his fourth wicket when he got one to come back and knock over Brett Hutton’s stumps while Paterson was last man out, bowled by Taylor.
Northamptonshire’s batting jitters returned immediately with both openers back in the dressing room inside two overs thanks to Paterson who picked up Vasconelos driving loosely low to first slip and Emilio Gay who played in similar fashion, this time giving third slip a comfortable catch.
With Brett Hutton keeping up the pressure at the other end, the procession continued when Whiteman prodded at one just outside off-stump from Paterson with Clarke taking a good tumbling catch behind while Rob Keogh fell next ball when he was squared up, the ball flying to third slip.
Zaib provided some stubborn resistance, starting to rebuild the Northamptonshire innings in a stand of 35 with Sales, but he rode his luck at times, ultimately falling when he drove James in the air to Slater who took a good tumbling catch at mid-off. Sales departed two runs later when he edged Mullaney behind while Harry Gouldstone flashed at a wide ball from Hutton sending it straight to point.
Gareth Berg gave Paterson his fifth wicket when he flashed at one straight to Ben Duckett in the slips who could only parry it, with Hutton catching it on the rebound. Jordan Buckingham’s run out compounded Northamptonshire’s woes and it was left to Hutton to take the last wicket, having Taylor caught behind off another loose shot.
A brilliant defensive display by Kent earned them a draw with Hampshire, after an engrossing final day in the LV= Insurance County Championship at Canterbury.
It was a textbook rearguard action by the hosts, who closed on 259 for four, having batted out 113 overs before the captains shook hands, even though Kent were still 18 runs behind.
Ben Compton and Zak Crawley had given Kent hope with an opening stand of 122 and although Hampshire’s hopes were ignited by a spell of three wickets for four runs, they were frustrated by Jack Leaning and Jordan Cox, whose unbeaten stand of 77 took out 43.2 overs.
Keith Barker and Liam Dawson took two wickets apiece, but it was an exasperating final day for the visitors.
The hosts will be far happier with the draw, having been bowled out for 95 in their first innings, before Hampshire posted 373 in reply.
The visitors had looked heavy favourites, but Kent were 66 without loss overnight after 26 overs’ of stoicism from Compton and a restrained Crawley.
Batting conditions looked significantly easier in a Spitfire Ground that looked and felt warm for the first time this season, and both openers eased their way to fifty, but after over an hour of resistance, Dawson made the breakthrough with two wickets in an over.
Crawley was caught behind for 56 and four deliveries later Tawanda Muyeye fell for a duck, held by Fletcha Middleton at silly point.
When Keith Barker subsequently had Compton lbw for 54 Kent were reeling on 126 for three, but Leaning and Sam Billings survived till lunch and for nearly an hour after it before the latter was lbw for 29 to Barker.
That was the only wicket to fall in the afternoon session, with Kent reaching 202 for four at tea. Cox played with admirable restraint and when Mohammad Abbas did find his edge it bisected the slip cordon and his next delivery fell just short of second slip. They were isolated alarms for the hosts.
Leaning reached 50 when he pulled Barker to square leg for a single and an exhausted Hampshire side tried nine different bowlers before giving up the ghost with nine scheduled overs remaining.
Leaning ended on 68 not out from 206 balls, with Cox unbeaten on 30 from 130.
Wicket Takers FIRSTCLASS
Top Tournament Stats: LV= County Championship 2023 Division 2
Timm van der Gugten cemented his place as the season’s leading bowler in the LV= Insurance County Championship Division Two with his third five wicket hall of the campaign as Glamorgan wrapped up victory against Worcestershire on the third day in Cardiff.
Glamorgan won by 10 wickets after they finished off the Worcestershire second innings inside the first hour of day three. Set a target of just 79 to win, Glamorgan were seen home by Eddie Byrom, who top scored with 51, and David Lloyd.
After the Worcestershire top order had failed for the second time in the match it was left to the tail to set a challenging target, but only 32 runs were added on the third morning before they were bowled out for 227.
This win gives Glamorgan their first victory of the season and 20 points to keep them in the hunt for a promotion spot. Worcestershire have now lost two and drawn two since their opening round victory against Derbyshire.
No runs had been added to the overnight score when Glamorgan got their first breakthrough when Matthew Waite was bowled off an inside by Jamie McIlroy. Waite is Worcestershire’s leading run scorer this season and his innings of 45 was the highest score by his team in this match. His wicket left Worcestershire eight wickets down and only 45 runs in front.
Van der Gugten completed his five-wicket haul when he had Josh Tongue caught at point by Eddie Byrom. Joe Leach scored 24, an innings that included the only six of the match, before he was bowled by a ball that kept low from James Harris. As the last wicket fell Worcestershire were 78 runs in front.
The pitch started slow and without much bounce and these features only became more pronounced as the match wore on. Despite this, the Worcestershire bowlers did not have enough runs to defend.
David Lloyd and Eddie Byrom took Glamorgan to 34 without loss at lunch, meaning they needed anther 45 runs to win after the interval. The two carried on as they had started after the break as they saw their side home with an unbroken stand of 82 to claim a 10 wicket win.
Matt Maynard, Glamorgan CCC Head Coach
On speculation that Neser will be called up by Australia.
I don’t read any newspapers in Australia, if Neser is [called up by Australia] I would wish him all the very best. He has been an absolutely brilliant professional for Glamorgan cricket. If that is the way to go and we lose him we wish him all the best. We hope Marnus gets hundreds, Neser gets five fors but also want an England win 5-0.
It depends on the options, we were thinking initially it was going to be later in the year that we might lose Neser, so we had a couple of contingencies there. That has potentially come forward so just at the moment looking into that. I know that we will enjoy today, have a nice day off tomorrow and then Mark Wallace and I will be on to that first thing next week.
On game this week
I think from a bowling group they carried on from their great work up at Yorkshire and all four seamers contributed terrifically in the game and that was great to see. For someone like Jamie McIlroy to finally get some reward for the hard work he has done. A shout out for Neser’s batting as well as that innings allowed us to get that batting point and stretch a lead that could potentially have been 50 to 150 so that was a fantastic effort from him and the lower order.
I know there are some very tired bodies. Timm has played every game so far this year so we will just have to see how he shapes up, he has led the attack fantastically in Michael Hogan’s departure, he has done exceptionally well, he is a big player for us at the moment so hopefully we can get him right and fit enough for the Sussex game.
Alan Richardson, Worcestershire CCC Head Coach
I think disappointing is a pretty accurate word to be fair, with the result no one likes losing a game, but with the performance I think throughout the season we have put in elements of performances to give ourselves chances, whereas I felt with this game we have never really given ourselves that opportunity. I would say disappointing with the result but also thinking about the performance over a long period of time we have never given ourselves a chance.
I think they bowled really well, fair play to Glamorgan for doing that, I think they put us under quite a bit of pressure, but you would hope that we would absorb that, get through that and give ourselves a chance. It was a toss where if we had won we would have had a bowl as well. I don’t think the wicket has changed drastically over the course of the game although it was a bit beneficial to bowl first up on that first morning. They put us under a lot of pressure, and we didn’t handle it as well as we would have liked and we have to learn from that.
Durham 227 & 246 for nine beat Yorkshire 254 & 218 by one wicket
Durham held their nerve on a nail-biting final morning to defeat Yorkshire by one wicket to extend their lead at the top of the LV= Insurance County Championship Division Two table.
Durham required 33 on the final day of the contest to chase down their victory total of 246, while the visitors needed two wickets to end their 17-match run without a County Championship win. The hosts were composed to whittle down 31 of the required 33 as Ben Raine completed a brilliant half-century under pressure.
George Hill threatened to break Durham hearts when he pinned Matthew Potts lbw with his second delivery of the new ball. But, Brydon Carse ambled to the crease with his side injury and squeezed the winning two runs between third slip and gully to steer the home side over the line.
Durham claimed 19 points from the contest to move well clear of second-place Glamorgan at the top of the Division Two standings, while Yorkshire remain winless this term.
On a bright morning in front of 254 spectators in Chester-le-Street, Yorkshire turned to Hill for the first over of the day, hoping that he could continue to conjure magic for the White Rose in the middle after a fine performance. Raine and Potts worked his first two balls for singles to the cheer of the home crowd.
The Durham batters brought up their fifty stand from 127 deliveries, further inching the hosts towards the victory target and quietening the travelling Yorkshire faithful that remained.
Jordan Thompson replaced Hill, but Potts took the attack to the seamer drilling his third ball straight down the ground. Thompson put in a desperate dive to stop the ball and appeared to hurt his shoulder after staying down on the pitch. The seamer continued his over, but was dispatched off Raine's legs to the fence.
Durham worked the target down to single figures before Masood had one last roll of the dice and placed the ball in the hands of off-spinner Dom Bess. Bess bowled a tight line, but could prevent Raine nudging his way to his 15th first-class fifty.
The new ball arrived and Hill brought about one final piece of magic to pin Potts lbw for 25 with only two required for victory. Carse arrived at the crease ailing with his trunk injury, but managed to work steer the winning runs between third slip and gully to secure a huge win for Durham's promotion hopes.
Derbyshire captain Leus du Plooy steered his side to safety with an unbeaten half-century on the final day of the LV=Insurance County Championship match against Gloucestershire at Derby.
Gloucestershire were in with a chance of victory when Derbyshire slipped to 28 for 3 but du Plooy’s 61 off 77 balls guided Derbyshire to 166 for 5 to secure the draw.
The visitors claimed their first batting points of the season before being bowled out for 383, a lead of 132, with Ben Charlesworth, Zahar Gohar and Matt Taylor scoring fifties.
Gohar and Taylor shared a ninth wicket stand of 99, a Gloucestershire record against Derbyshire, to set up the prospect of a tense finale but du Plooy stood firm.
Any late drama looked unlikely at the start when Gloucestershire’s main objective was to secure batting points.
Charlesworth was also eying a maiden first-class century and with Tom Price, carried his side to within five runs of 250 when Derbyshire broke the partnership.
Price had already been dropped twice, at short midwicket off Suranga Lakmal and a caught and bowled chance to Alex Thomson, before he went for a big swing at the off-spinner and miscued to cover.
The pair had put on 63 from 129 balls and Charlesworth, who had passed his previous best score of 77 not out, secured the first point when he cut Henry Brookes over the slips for four.
Charlesworth was caught behind off a short ball from Brookes and Marchant De Lange’s attempts to hit the ball out of the Incora County Ground resulted in a broken bat before he edged Lakmal to second slip
But that was the home side’s last success for 18 overs as Taylor and Gohar eclipsed Gloucestershire’s highest ninth wicket stand against Derbyshire of 95 by Mark Hardinges and Carl Greenidge at Derby in 2007.
Taylor drove Luis Reece for six to bring up 300 and dispatched Brookes for another maximum on his way to a 60 ball 50.
Gohar drove Lakmal for six to reach his 50 from 65 balls and set the new ninth wicket record before he skied the Sri Lankan to mid off.
The innings ended in the next over but Gloucestershire now had a big enough lead and enough overs left to put the home side under pressure.
Any chance of the game meandering quietly to a conclusion vanished when Derbyshire lost three wickets in the space of 17 balls with the arrears still in three figures.
Harry Came held his team together in the first innings but this time he lasted only five overs before he got an edge onto his pad and was caught at gully.
Price struck in the next over with a full length ball that hit Haider Ali in front and alarm bells were ringing when Wayne Madsen went without scoring.
The veteran right hander had his off stump knocked back by a ball from Price that straightened to leave Derbyshire in trouble.
Du Plooy decided to be positive from the outset, dancing down the pitch to drive Taylor for six over long off, but he was close to being run out just before tea which was taken with Derbyshire 64 behind with 40 overs remaining.
Brooke Guest stayed with his skipper for 13 overs before pulling Ajeet Singh Dale to midwicket the over after du Plooy was dropped on 33 by Miles Hammond at slip off Gohar.
Mitch Wagstaff, in his second first-class innings, shared a stand of 43 from 70 balls although Gohar thought he had him caught and bowled on seven only for the umpires to rule the ball had not quite carried.
Wagstaff faced 48 balls before he fell cutting Gohar but Derbyshire were now in front and Luis Reece joined du Plooy to finally close the door on Gloucestershire.
Hundreds from Rishi Patel and Wiaan Mulder steered Leicestershire to a draw against Sussex after being asked to follow on, preserving their unbeaten record in Division Two of the LV= Insurance County Championship.
Dismissed for 270 in reply to their opponents’ 430 late on Saturday evening, they were in early trouble at 65 for four as Sussex chased a second win of the season.
But after Patel had made 100 from 157 balls, the third century of a season he began with none to his name, South African all-rounder Mulder saw them to safety with an unbeaten 102 to go with his five wickets in the Sussex innings.
He had valuable support from young all-rounder Tom Scriven, who contributed 51 not out to a seventh-wicket stand worth an unbroken 99 in 23 overs before the teams shook hands on a draw with 20 overs unbowled and Leicestershire 135 runs in front.
Sussex’s four-man seam attack had their moments, with 21-year-old Henry Crocombe looking sharp at times, but with Ari Karvelas and Brad Currie both making their first appearances of the season, they could not find the outstanding individual performance that was probably needed to fashion a victory, and missed two chances to dismiss Patel before he had reached fifty.
Leicestershire had looked in danger of succumbing to the kind of rapid disintegration to which they were prone last year when a solid start to their follow-on was wrecked by the loss of four quick wickets midway through the morning session.
Six without loss overnight, having failed by just 11 runs to meet the avoidance target on Saturday, they advanced to 48 without too many alarms in the first 40 minutes of play on the final morning, dealing relatively comfortably with a new-ball attack of Karvelas and Currie.
But after a major let-off when an edge offered by Patel on 27 was put down by third slip Tom Clark, the next eight overs saw them lose four wickets for nine runs, slipping from 56 without loss to 65 for four.
Sol Budinger slashed Fynn Hudson-Prentice into the hands of the fielder at point, the opener getting a send-off from the Sussex fielders that seemed to prompt a warning from the umpires, immediately followed back by captain Lewis Hill as Crocombe did enough to induce an edge to first-slip Tom Alsop.
Colin Ackermann, who scored 298 runs in his first four innings of the season but just 34 in his most recent five, faced 25 balls before he was leg before to Karvelas, getting only half forward, after which Currie claimed the wicket Sussex hoped would be key, delivering a beauty to pass Peter Handscomb’s defensive bat and hit the Australian’s off stump.
With Leicestershire still 95 behind, Sussex tails were up, yet they missed another chance to dismiss Patel when he was dropped at first slip on 47 off Currie, who also had a strong appeal for leg before against him turned down in his next over.
The home side were still up against it at lunch, 69 in arrears, yet there was always a suspicion that a Sussex attack lacking both Ollie Robinson and Nathan McAndrew might struggle to bowl Leicestershire out twice, especially in improving weather conditions and with their opponents concerned only with saving the game.
Indeed, the two chances created but not taken against Patel began to look costly indeed as the tall right-hander went on to complete a third century of a season in which in Division Two only the Sussex captain, Cheteshwar Pujara, has more than his 517 runs.
It was by no means flawless, quite apart from the two drops, but on the occasions he made good contact with the ball it could go a long way without much obvious muscle behind it, witnessed in three sixes, one back over the head of Karvelas, another lofted over the leg-side boundary off Hudson-Prentice, the other over long-on off spinner James Coles.
After reaching the milestone off 154 balls with his 16th four, Patel rather gave his wicket away, pushing at a ball from Currie in the same over that he had no need to play, giving first slip a comfortable catch. Nonetheless, his partnership with Mulder had added 122 runs, a sizeable stride towards safety.
Yet when Rehan Ahmed was out three overs later, brilliantly caught by a diving Steve Smith at second slip off Crocombe, Leicestershire were vulnerable again, six down and just 36 in front, with still 43 overs remaining.
Another setback in the 10 overs remaining before tea would have buoyed Sussex still further but in the end it was Leicestershire’s rediscovered resilience that prevailed.
Mulder, who made 689 Championship runs last season but came into this match with a top score of 11 in six innings this year, followed his five first-innings wickets by regaining his touch with the bat and it was he as much as Patel who was the game-saver, facing 167 balls and going to his hundred with his 16th four, his 15th having come of the one over bowled by Smith.
©Cricket World 2023