Recent Match Report – Yorkshire vs Sussex Group 3 2021

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Sussex 118 for 3 (Haines 71*) trail Yorkshire 150 (Lyth 42, Garton 3-25) by 32 runs

As attractive as a day at the seaside sounds, you’ve always got to have your wits about you – be it to guard against sunburn, or the waves rolling in at an inopportune moment. Yorkshire arrived at Hove bristling with intent after victory over Kent last week, but were promptly scuttled by a vigorous Sussex bowling effort – the home side swooping like seagulls on a stray bag of chips in the wake of George Garton’s three-wicket burst.

Adam Lyth, in fine recent form, made 42 but no one else reached 20 on the way to 150 all out, and Sussex were capably marshalled by Tom Haines, another opener in good fettle, in their reply. Two late wickets for Duanne Olivier, greeted by the South African with a full-throated roar, briefly disturbed Sussex’s tranquillity, but they were well placed to stretch their stroll along the front into a first-innings lead.

Chris Silverwood, the England head coach whose role now encompasses selection, was on hand to see his former county make an assured start – a chat with Andrew Gale, Yorkshire’s head coach, up in the South Stand perhaps touching on the early-season form that has brought Lyth more than 400 runs from five innings so far. But they had shipped five wickets by the time Silverwood took his leave at lunch, and were all out by mid-afternoon, as Sussex took a grip.

Hove is one of the most popular destinations on the county circuit, a charming old ground snugly tucked in among the terraces a few hundred yards from the sea; deckchairs usually get a mention, even if they’re yet to be removed from storage. And despite the absence of supporters, the 1st Central County Ground felt like the bustling place to be, as various players and personnel with connections to the national team went about their business.

Of greatest interest was Jofra Archer, who would have doubtless drawn a crowd to the nets at the Cromwell Road end of the ground as he went about his rehabilitation following hand surgery. Archer batted and bowled during the morning session, before undergoing some fitness work on the outfield at lunch, mirrored shades flashing enigmatically in the April sun.

Archer is due to head to the IPL, where his team, Rajasthan Royals, are currently struggling after losing three of their opening four games, and talk that he could be allowed to test his fitness in Sussex’s next Championship fixture was probably nothing more than local wishful thinking. England are expected to release further details on his planed return to action in the coming days.

As well as Silverwood, England’s elite pace bowling coach, Jon Lewis, was back at his former county to work with Archer, while Tymal Mills appeared to jog around the outfield. James Taylor, now billed as England’s head scout, was also on hand. Whether Taylor came with a view to seeing the Championship’s most-prolific run-scorer (Lyth) or its leading wicket-taker, Ollie Robinson, he will have been able to file a favourable report on the Sussex left-armer Garton.