County Championship Division 2, Day 1 Wrap: Steel, Latham make merry in Leicester

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COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP

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Chris Nash starred with a ton as Sussex ended the opening day on a high against Worcestershire.

Chris Nash starred with a ton as Sussex ended the opening day on a high against Worcestershire. © Getty

Worcestershire vs Sussex, Worcester

Sussex, chasing Nottinghamshire for the top spot in Division Two, made a strong start to their clash against Worcestershire with Chris Nash’s 118 setting the tone for a good first innings total. Nash was ably supported by half centuries from Luke Wells (85) and Chris Jordan (57*) as the visitors ended the first day at 342 for 7.

It could have so easily gone totally wrong for Sussex after they slipped to 7 for 2 inside the fourth over of the day after Ben Brown elected to bat. Stiaan van Zyl struck four boundaries in his innings of 24 but fell soon after to leave the scoreboard reading 49 for 3. It was then that Nash joined Wells and the pair got the rebuild job underway. The duo added 97 for the fourth wicket before Wells fell to George Rhodes, 15 short of a deserved century. The milestone wasn’t to elude Nash, who then forged 118-run partnership with Jordan to push the visitors back in the ascendancy by close of play.

Brief scores: Sussex 342/7 (Chris Nash 118, Luke Wells 85; Ed Barnard 3-56) vs Worcestershire

Northamptonshire vs Gloucestershire, Northampton

Five Northamptonshire batsmen managed 30 or more runs but not one went on to register a three-figure mark as the hosts folded for a competitive, but not threatening total of 343 on the opening day of their second division County Championship clash against Gloucestershire. Led by a quickfire half-century from Ben Duckett in an 84-run opening stand, Northamptonshire set just the right tempo in the morning session after electing to bat. Rob Newton, the innings’ top-scorer with 70, then shared another healthy stand of 69 with Alex Wakely before the visitors began chipping away with the wickets.

After Max Holden and Rob Keogh departed, failing to capitalise on starts, Richard Levi bludgeoned nine boundaries during a breezy half-century. Rory Kleinveldt and Simon Kerrigan added runs late down the order to push the total past 300. For the visitors, Liam Norwell picked up three wickets with David Payne, Craig Miles and Kieran Noema-Barnett taking two apiece to complete a nice spread of wickets.

Brief scores: Northamptonshire 343 (Rob Newton 70, Richard Levi 56; Liam Norwell 3-70) vs Gloucestershire

Derbyshire vs Nottinghamshire, Derby

Nottinghamshire made a bright start to their quest of maintaining a stranglehold on the Division Two standings after Brett Hutton’s five-fer dismantled Derbyshire for a measly total of 220 on the opening day of the the clash between the two sides. Chris Read won an important toss at the County Ground in Derby and instantly sought to put the pressure on the hosts with an attack comprising Hutton, Jake Ball and the returning Mark Footit.

It took as long as the eleventh over for Hutton and Nottinghamshire to breakthrough but once the incision was made, the visitors’ potent seam attack was able to carve through the Derby middle-order. Ball overcame an inconsistent start to pick up three wickets while Footit picked up a couple of his own, including that of No. 11 Ben Cotton, whose 32 at the tail gave the Derby total a semblance of respectability. Eventually the spotlight shone brightly on Hutton, whose 5 for 32, marked his best returns for the season so far. The visitors lost Jake Libby and Brendan Taylor early in response but a steady Steven Mullaney ensured there were no further casualties to take his side to 93 for 2 at Stumps.

Brief scores: Derbyshire 220 (Alex Hughes 55, Luis Reece; Brett Hutton 5-52) lead Nottinghamshire93/2 (Steven Mullaney 35; Tony Palladino 1-20) by 127 runs.

Leicestershire vs Durham, Leicester

Cameron Steel and Tom Latham slammed tons in a 234-run opening stand as Durham made best use of good batting conditions at Grace Road to set up an ominous platform in their second division clash against fellow stragglers Leicestershire. Steel batted out a whopping 303 deliveries over the opening day’s play for his unbeaten 145 while New Zealand’s Latham scored at a significantly faster rate (67.76 to Steel’s 47.85) in his 124 to set the early precedent in the clash. The visitors finished the day’s play four down for 324 with a 500-plus total and early match honours very much on the cards.

Leicestershire, ahead of only Durham in the points table, struck in quick succession after the mammoth stand with Dieter Klein taking two of the wickets to fall on the day. But with a decent crop of batsmen to come and a strong first-innings total already materialising, Durham look the better placed of the two sides to end the winless streak.

Brief scores: Durham 324/4 (Cameron Steel 145*, Tom Latham 124; Dieter Klein 2-79) vs Leicestershire

© Cricbuzz

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