LV=CC day one: 40 overs lost as Gregory shines for Somerset against Sussex

Luke Wells bowled superbly on the final day
Luke Wells bowled superbly on the final day

Lewis Gregory celebrated signing a new three-year contract with Somerset by claiming wickets with successive balls on a rain-affected first day of the LV=County Championship match with Sussex at Taunton.

The 23-year-old seamer sent back Ed Joyce (28) and Matt Machan in the 17th over after the visitors had progressed to 56 without loss, having lost the toss.

Three breaks for rain meant that 40 overs were lost. By the close Sussex had stumbled to 145 for six, Luke Wells offering most resistance with 54, while Peter Trego (two for 16) and Gregory (two for 42) were the most successful bowlers.

During the final session Somerset announced that highly-rated twins Craig and Jamie Overton had joined Gregory in signing new deals tying them to the club until 2018.

Sussex were given a solid start by Wells and Joyce after being inserted on a greenish pitch in conditions that soon became heavily overcast.

They had taken the score to 47 when the first shower took the players off and added nine more on the resumption before Joyce edged an attempted pull shot to wicketkeeper Michael Bates.

Gregory’s next delivery saw Machan fence at a good length ball without getting far enough across and Jim Allenby took the catch at first slip.

When heavier rain forced an early lunch Sussex were 72 for two, with Chris Nash having joined Wells, who was unbeaten on 37.

Play resumed at 3pm and the pair took the total to 105 for two in 45 minutes before the clouds gathered again and the heavens opened.

The last session of the day began at 5.15pm with 20 overs left to be bowled. Craig Overton soon had a wicket to mark his new contract as Nash was bowled on the back-foot for 35 to make it 113 for three.

He and Wells had added 57 in 23 overs to lay the foundation for a decent total. Wells soon moved to a patient and valuable half-century off 118 balls, with 9 fours.

Trego’s introduction to the attack brought his downfall as, with his third delivery from the River End, the all-rounder pinned Wells lbw, trapped on his crease.

At 122 for four, Sussex had slipped into trouble. And their plight worsened when Trego struck again in his third over, Craig Cachopa edging a forward defensive shot to first slip where Allenby again showed safe hands.

A similar fate befell Ben Brown, on nine, as he pushed forward to Alfonso Thomas and was snapped up by Marcus Trescothick at second slip to make it Somerset’s day.

They also announced that wicketkeeper Bates, formerly with Hampshire, had agreed a deal until the end of the season, having initially signed a one-month contract.

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