Second XI Championship
Venue: Blackstone CC
Duration: 3 days
Match Result - Sussex Second XI won by three wickets
Middlesex 438/8 dec & 197/7 dec
Sussex 330/7 dec & 307/7
Middlesex Seconds lost to Sussex on an enthralling final day at Blackstone CC after the home side successfully chased down the target of 306 set earlier in the day by Middlesex.
Resuming on day three on their overnight score of 57/0, Middlesex openers Robbie White (88) and George Scott (55) put on 144 for the first wicket, batting aggressively to try and advance the game towards a positive result.
On a flat deck at Blackstone it required some inventiveness on the final day to push the game on, and it was clear from an early stage that Middlesex were intent on doing their best to steer the game away from what seemed like an inevitable draw.
When Scott eventually fell the plan was to put on quick runs to push towards a declaration, which came with the lead on 305, as Middlesex skipper Sam Robson pulled the plug before lunch, with the score on 197/7.
Needing 306 for victory, Sussex looked to be in trouble on 82 for 4, as Ethan Bamber picked up three early wickets to put the hosts on the back foot.
The fifth Sussex wicket fell with the score on 113, as Garton was bowled by Walallawita, and when Sussex went in at tea on 162/5, Middlesex were the favourites for the win as it looked like Robson’s bravery in tactically declaring would be rewarded.
After tea the tide turned however as Sussex’s number six, Kapil, got stuck into the bowling, helping himself to an unbeaten hundred to see the hosts over the line, with just 2 overs play remaining in the game.
Ethan Bamber finished the day as the pick of the Middlesex bowlers, with figures of 4 for 73 from 18.1 overs
Sussex took 23 points out of the clash, whilst Middlesex left with 7.
Close of Play - Day Two
Sussex 330-7 dec
Sussex declare 108 runs short of Middlesex’s total to put the visitors in to bat out the remainder of day two at Blackstone CC.
On a flat wicket, Middlesex were made to work hard for any breakthroughs on the second day of the Championship match against Sussex. Sussex however lost Goodwin in the 22nd over at the hands of Ethan Bamber, giving Middlesex fresh hope of skittling out the hosts on Day Two and putting them back into bat.
From this point onwards however, the pitch offered no help to Middlesex in their efforts for wickets, and were hard to come by throughout the majority of the day.
However, with the score at 249, Walallawita was able to claim the big wicket of Beer, who had just reached his century.
This seemed to turn the tide of the match, with Middlesex then going on to take two further wickets in the next 12 overs, leaving the score at 285-6- still 153 runs short of Middlesex’s total.
Kapil was the final man to go, who had made 87 before being dismissed by Martin Andersson on 330-7.
It was at this point Sussex decided to put the visitors back in to bat, attempting to take late wickets to give themselves the front foot on the final day.
However, Robbie White and George Scott stood firm, and ended proceedings with the score at 57 without loss.
Close of Play - Day One
Middlesex - 438-8 dec
Middlesex dominate day one of the 2nd XI Championship match against Sussex with an excellent batting performance, led by George Scott.
After Middlesex won the toss and decided to bat first, they took their brilliant form in the One Day Trophy into the opening session of the day. It seemed for long periods as if Middlesex were treating it as a one day match, going at 5 an over in the morning session despite losing early wickets.
The aggressive style of cricket seemed to pay off, and took Middlesex to 196 by the time the third wicket fell, with Tom Lace dismissed for 54.
From this point onwards, George Scott put his foot down, passing his century soon after and not looking back. Martin Andersson joined in on the act as well, and the pair notched up a partnership just shy of 200 before Andersson eventually went for 87.
George Scott continued on, and had incredibly already passed his double century. He eventually reached 221 before finally being caught off the bowling of Sakande.
Middlesex eventually declared on 438-8, with 7 overs of play left in the day.
Sussex came into bat in a difficult situation, and would have been tasked with surviving the final overs of the day without loss. Middlesex however had other plans, and Tom Barber was able to bowl Gilmour for 3 before the close, leaving Sussex 13-1 in reply by close of play.