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A thriller at Hove

When the T20 rose in popularity it was feared that the 50 over format would feel the squeeze.

It had tradition, a variety of sponsors from Gillette to Cheltenham and Gloucester Building Society to the NatWest Bank. It was above all the format for the World Cup.

Its latest competition sponsored by Royal London is now being contested.

The counties like Sussex with no Test grounds have seen their squads depleted by The Hundred.

That and the bad weather forecast dissuaded me from taking up my ticket for  yesterday’s game v Gloucestershire.

My fear was that I would get to Hove see one side post a score then the game would be abandoned. In fact there were only two suspensions for bad weather.

I watched the game on the stream on the Sussex website.

Gloucestershire scored 218 and – with Sussex Sharks 138-8 – they seemingly had little chance.

At the crease was 18 year old Ollie Carter and 17 year old Henry Slocombe.

Carter scored over 50 and suddenly it was “game on”.

That is the benefit of the 50 over game – you have the time and overs to recover from a desperate position. With 8 balls to go Sussex needed 3 wins to win.

The pair ran a risky two and a fine throw hit the wicket. Gloucestershire won by 3 runs.

It was thrilling stuff.

Archie Lenham, son of Neil and grandson of Les, both played for  Sussex was devastated and consoled by the umpires and Gloucester players.

The defeat effectively puts Sussex out of the competition. Although the pair seemed to confer after every ball a more experienced player might have advised to “Do it in singles’.

Later I did watch the Southern Brave beat the London Spirit in another game that went to the wire.

I am no fan of the Hundred but one new rule I do like is penalising a side that does not complete its 100 balls by the cut off date have to place an additional fielder in the inner square.

No point in fining, the penalty must affect the game.

It  means that those like Southern Brave who complete the 100 with speedsters run that risk, as indeed happened though it did not affect the Brave’s victory.





About Ivan Conway

Ivan Conway will be reporting on Sussex sport. He is a member of the 1901 club at Brighton HAFC, Sussex County Cricket Club and an enthusiastic horse race goer. After selling his freight forwarding and conference business he settled in Hove. His other interests are bird watching, brass rubbing and bridge. More Posts