Rawlins has first county wicket for Sussex

  • Rawlins scored 22 for Sussex on his County Championship debut (Photograph by Sussex CCC)

Delray Rawlins scored 22 on his Specsavers County Championship debut for Sussex against Kent on Saturday, then picked up his first county wicket yesterday on the third day of the four-day match at Hove.

Rawlins showed a patient side to his batting when he occupied the crease for more than two hours on Saturday as the home team recovered from 121 for seven to reach 291 in reply to Kent’s 304 in the first innings.

Rawlins, who came in to bat at No 4 inside the first half an hour at 24 for two, had a patient knock as he tried to help the Sussex recovery, taking 55 minutes to reach double figures. He and captain Luke Wright took Sussex to lunch at 84 for five, both on 20 not out.

Wright departed for 29 soon after lunch on 97 for six after hitting seven fours, with Rawlins the next wicket to fall, on 121 for seven in the 43rd over. He batted for 138 minutes, faced 78 balls and hit three fours.

Mitchell Claydon claimed four for 87 and openers Matt Coles and Wayne Parnell three wickets apiece as Kent kept on the pressure in reducing Sussex to 192 for nine before a last wicket stand of 99 between wicketkeeper Ben Brown (90) and Jofra Archer, their bowling hero on Friday after claiming seven wickets, took them to a respectable total. Archer finished with 60 not out from ten fours while Brown hit 12 fours in his 157 minutes at the crease, facing 116 deliveries.

Kent extended their slim 13-run lead to 426 when they posted 413 for five when bad light stopped play in yesterday’s third, leaving Sussex to bat out the final day to earn a draw.

Captain Sam Northeast was the Kent hero, scoring 173 not out, his seventeenth first-class hundred, while Sean Dickson and Darren Stevens both passed 50 for the second time in the match as Kent posted an imposing total at the 1st Central County Ground.

Northeast and Stevens hit 78 run in nine overs after tea on a pitch which has become easier to bat on but, with 24 overs left and a declaration imminent, they were forced off because of bad light to end the day’s play.

Only three wickets fell yesterday to Sussex who were without Vernon Philander, suffering from a groin injury.

Rawlins was then called upon and the Bermudian claimed his first wicket when Will Gidman skied a shot to deep square leg off the leg spinner where Archer took the catch. The England Under-19 star gave up 46 runs in his nine overs.

That dismissal brought together Northeast and Stevens and they added 161 in 26.4 overs as the Sussex bowlers struggled.