County championship: Derbyshire and damp deny Sussex

Luke Wells

Luke Wells

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Chesney Hughes continued his impressive start to the season with another half-century before Derbyshire’s match against Sussex at Derby ended in an inevitable draw.

After all of the third day was washed out, the chances of a Sussex victory were dealt another blow when rain prevented any play until 2.30pm on the fourth afternoon.

That left the visitors with only 51 overs in which to bowl Derbyshire out for a second timeafter they declared 277 runs ahead but the home side’s batting was more resilient than on day one and although they lost two quick wickets after tea, the rain had the final word with Derbyshire 92 for 2

Hughes had already scored 96 and an unbeaten century in two of the previous three matches and made up for his first innings failure by moving to 50 from 73 balls in the final over before tea.

Although Billy Godleman was close to edging a big drive at Steve Magoffin in the opening over of Derbyshire’s second innings, there were no signs that Sussex could get the early wickets they needed to spark panic in the home dressing room.

At the interval, Derbyshire were 71 without loss from 22 overs and by the time Sussex did breakthrough, it was too late.

Godleman swept Luke Wells for four but then skied a drive as he came down the pitch to the next ball and Hamish Rutherford went in the next over when he edged Stu Whittingham to first slip.

But two overs later, the rain returned leaving Hughes unbeaten on 58 which takes his aggregate this season to 466 at an average of 116.

Sussex head coach Mark Davis said: “We have a lot of really good things to take from the game. We bowled well in the first innings as a unit and it was very encouraging to see young Sussex bowlers out there.

“I think it’s important that if you are a young player and perform in the second team there’s a good chance you will play in the first team so it’s all about progression and giving these young guys a chance.”

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