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Sharks are toothless

Sussex form continues to worry. There is a lack of spine and spirit. Skipper Ed Joyce has complained  that the county side has lost all four pacemen but this does not explain  the batting failures not least of Joyce himself.

Last night the Sharks lost to Essex Eagles. They could only set a target of 140. Of this Jayawardene contributed 53 and the last five 21 runs. Essex knocked this off without difficulty. On Sunday at Arundel we play Surrey in Pietersen’s last game for them and then Durham the leaders in their county match. this was our fourth consecutive defeat, three at Hove.

PriorThe collapse in the tail recalled the sterling efforts of Matt Prior for county and country.

One of the assets of the England team that won the Ashes under Michael  Vaughan was his third layer of batting that Flintoff, Evans and Giles provided. Matt took over as wicketkeeper and scored a century on his debut. His test average was 40 and he became a vital cog in the team. Word was that he would never make a comeback. National and local press have extolled his career.

Yesterday I had lunch with someone who knew him well. The issue is what will he do with his future. I cannot see the cycling venture taking off; he has an ambassadorial role for Sussex and I would have thought a career in the media and on the speaking circuit would be more lucrative and satisfying. Inevitably Matt will be compared to Jim Parks. He took a job at Whitbread when he hang up the gloves and,  still a popular visitor at 84 at Hove, was President last year. We need the runs that these two could provide to stem the decline.

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