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Match report day 1: Lancs v Sussex in Championship 2004
by Neil Adams


Scorecard:Lancashire v Sussex

Summary for Day 1

 

Seven days ago, Lancashire were an unbeaten mean machine. The team were batting, bowling and fielding well. Every player was playing their part. A defeat in any form of cricket seemed unlikely. Suddenly and without much logical explanation, the pendulum has swung. Other than Sajid Mahmood, the bowling attack looks lack luster. The fielding very tired and the batting all at sea. Obviously a number of key injuries have played a part, and the inability to win the toss has merely added insult to problem.

 

Lancashire opted to omit Paul Horton and John Wood from the squad of 13 players. Mahmood and Hooper returned to replace Hogg and Sutcliffe from the game at Tunbridge Wells. In the sixth over of the day, Montgomerie (5) was smartly caught by Mark Chilton at short leg - a juggling catch (16-1). Any hope of further success before lunch was extinguished by Ward and Goodwin. Truthfully, the bowling was sub-standard. There were far too many "4" balls as the score might suggest (136-1). Both Ward and Goodwin passed 50 without offering a single chance. Lancashire's bowlers were unable to extract any swing or movement, and Hegg failed to employ the services of Gary Keedy until after 1pm.

 

Owing to the finger injury which Hooper sustained at Hove in the Cheltenham & Gloucester cup, he was unable to field in his accustomed position of second slip. Instead he found himself fielding on the boundary at third man, or long leg. Goodwin (83) offered a catch to Hooper at third man in the 41st over (164-2), and Ward (84) hooked without due care in the 47th over to offer Hooper his second catch (190-3) Both batsmen could only blame themselves for getting out on such a perfect wicket. Chris Adams and Matt Prior added 116 in the overs leading up to tea. Prior reached his fifty from 61 balls courtesy of four consecutive boundaries from Steven Crook. With two balls remaining to the tea interval, Prior (61) flat batted Hooper to Crook at point and as the players left the field, Sussex found themselves on 306 for 4.

 

Sussex lost 2 early wickets in the final session. Tim Ambrose (8) edged Mahmood to Hegg in the 75th over (317-5), and Martin-Jenkins (9) was brilliantly caught by Cork low to his right at second slip, attempting to leave the ball alone from the bowling of Glen Chapple in the 79th over (329 for 6). Just when Lancashire gained a foot hold in the game, Chris Adams seemed to wrestle the initiative from them again. He reached his century from 158 balls in the 92nd over. Together with James Kirtley, the pair added 58 runs for the 7th wicket - adding to the hosts frustration. The new ball finally accounted for Kirtley (14) - caught by Cork at second slip (387 for 7). Cork turned provider in the 100th over of the day to send Mushtaq Ahmed (6) back to the pavilion. A magnificent overhead catch by Law at first slip (430-8).

 

Lancashire captured their third bowling point of the day with the very last ball. Mohammad Akram (11) trapped in front by Gary Keedy (458-9). Adams remained unbeaten on 145 from 190 deliveries including 4 sixes and 15 fours. Another difficult day at the office for the bowlers who continually bowled short pitched fodder most of the day.

 


(Article: Copyright © 2004 Neil Adams http://www.cricketimages.co.uk/adams-report/intro.html)

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