Bowman on the Road: Sussex's promotion bid in full cry after North Wales thriller
If you like thrills, spills, ups and downs while watching a sporting event, Sussex CCC's latest Specsavers County Championship had it all.
From the very first session on Monday it was entertainment all the way at Colwyn Bay Cricket Club with the result always in doubt until Ollie Robinson smashed a six late on day three. Sussex were nine down at that time so the match situation couldn't of been any closer!
The last day started under clear skies and pleasant temps with the hosts looking to boost their overnight advantage.
They were looking to set a target of over 250. Chris Jordan bowled superbly taking 5 for 46 including taking the dangerous Meschede with a high caught and bowled. Wright, Briggs and Brown also contributed to a very solid fielding with excellent catches as the hosts slumped to 182 all out, a lead of 209. Comfortable? not a bit of it!
Luke Wells dangled a bat at the very first ball which found an edge, nought for one.
Hogan and Carey bowled like demons for 10 overs as the Sussex order played and missed. For the second time in the match Angus Robson left a ball which then jagged in to take his off stump. Two for 10. Stiaan van Zyl was dropped on 3 at slip, a dolly to be honest. 14 for 2 at lunch.
After the interval, in the best weather of the day, Chris Nash and van Zyl found some form to produce a partnership of 90 runs at which point Sussex fans were feeling very confident. However the hosts were in no mood to roll over and they introduced spinner Salter into the attack. He took out van Zyl with his first ball LBW and then came Sussex's ugliest moment in the entire game. Luke Wright strolled out, danced down the wicket wafting away, stumped and then strolled back. The ground in shared disbelieve.
That set the tone for an amazing hour of cricket as Nash, Jordan, Weise and skipper Ben Brown all got caught trying to move the score on.
At tea it was 173 for 8 and nerves shredded.
Archer went LBW for 6 leaving Briggs and Robinson to score 20 runs for victory. With Colwyn Bay holding its breath Oliver Robinson became the hero with a final straight six into a posse of Sussex fans on the bank. You couldn't make it up. Sussex won by one wicket.
With 4 County Championship matches to go Sussex move into that important 2nd Division 2 promotion spot. Getting back to division has always been the number one objective so things are moving in the right direction. Head coach Mark Davis takes his troops to Northampton next Tuesday where they will be looking to secure yet another win. But perhaps he might be hoping for a much less stressful passage.
Many thanks to Colwyn Bay Cricket club who produced a stunning festival of cricket at their beautiful ground. Hopefully they will look back at the experience and be rightly proud of a job well done. Huge messages of congratulation to the hordes of Sussex fans who made the trip.
I think you will agree this is an event that will stick in the mind for years to come. Well played Glamorgan who started with a very young team. Good luck at the NatWest T20 Blast finals on Saturday. Finally my Sussex man of the match goes to Skipper Ben Brown who not only scored the most Sussex runs and took five catches he skippered with calm assurance through out and held his team together through out a very tough examination.