Success by the Sea

A car blocked the Somerset coach on the way to the ground while Sussex's decision to insert backfired spectacularly

Somerset v Sussex, RLODC, Hove, April 24 2019

Somerset 283-8 Azhar 68, Hildreth 81, Abell 44, Gregory 50 beat Sussex 62-4 by 68 runs (D/L method)

Any day which starts with Peter Trego trying to lift a parked car that was preventing the Somerset team coach getting from hotel to ground was bound to be memorable.

With rain threatened later in the day Sussex inserted Somerset when Tom Abell called incorrectly. But Somerset’s batsmen didn’t seem to mind first use of the surface, compiling a credible if not match-winning 283 from their 50 overs.

The innings was built around a 101-run third-wicket partnership between Azhar Ali and James Hildreth but the problems of batting were clearly visible in the 30 overs it took to post the three-figure alliance.  

When Hildreth departed in the 40th over the Somerset innings was in danger of falling short of respectability at 186-4. Tom Abell underpinned the addition of 97 in the last ten overs but it was Lewis Gregory’s 50 off just 28 balls that caught the eye and demoralised the hosts. The innings was neatly rounded off by a George Bartlett cameo. His 19 took just 9 balls and included a six and two fours as his superb start to 2019 continued.

Now, when the advantage of batting second was supposed to help Sussex it backfired spectacularly. Feeling the need to get ahead of DL with rain looming the subsided to 48-4 in the 13th over. The rain arrived when Ben Brown and David Wiese had inched the total to 62 – less than half the par score at that point.

A resumption was scheduled, but further rain put an end to that hope just as the players were preparing to restart.

Somerset made it three from three and Sussex found themselves stuck behind the metaphorical bus.