Weather ruins Sussex hopes at Arundel - and draw looks inevitable

Sussex had little to celebrate at Arundel / Picture: Getty Images
Sussex had little to celebrate at Arundel / Picture: Getty Images

Gloucestershire pair Chris Dent and Gareth Roderick both made half-centuries between the showers but their Specsavers County Championship match against Sussex is heading towards a draw.

Only 49 overs in two sessions were possible on the third day at Arundel Castle with Gloucestershire reaching 146 for 3 in reply to Sussex’s 351 for 8. With just a day left a stalemate looks certain which would at least keep Sussex in the top three promotion places in Division Two.

Umpires Ian Blackwell and Neil Bainton took the players off again at 5pm because of light drizzle and play was abandoned at 5.40pm. So far, 123 overs have been lost to rain during the match.

Arundel day one report

Arundel day two report

Picture special from Sussex at Arundel

Dent made 851 runs and was Gloucestershire’s leading run scorer in the Championship last season but his 59 on a slow pitch was only his second half-century of the season.

After the early loss of Miles Hammond, the left-hander shared stands of 60 with James Bracey (21) and Roderick, who was unbeaten on 51 when the rain returned an hour after play had resumed at 4pm following a three-hour delay.

And Dent will have been disappointed with his dismissal. On a slow pitch he had survived one escape when he was dropped at third slip by Luke Wells off Ollie Robinson.

He had moved onto 59 when he chased a ball from Chris Jordan down the leg side and Sussex wicketkeeper Ben Brown dived to his right to pull off a good catch. Dent faced 141 balls and hit eight fours.

Roderick did the bulk of the scoring in the hour after the resumption and his 88-ball half-century included six boundaries.

Earlier, Sussex had declared on their overnight score of 351 for 8 after rain had wiped out two sessions on the second day.

Robinson was a handful with the new ball and was rewarded in his second over when he moved one away from Hammond who edged to third slip where Danny Briggs took a good catch.

Robinson’s progress was being monitored by England scout Geoff Arnold, with a view to a possible call-up for England Lions’ match against Australia A next month.

He would have been celebrating again in his second spell had Wells held on when Dent was on 46.

Instead, David Wiese took the second wicket when Bracey, who had played well for his 21, chased a wide delivery and slapped it into Briggs’s hands at point.

Robinson said: "It's been a frustrating three days after a really good win (against Middlesex) last week. When it's like this it can be hard to keep the energy levels up going on and off.

"The pitch has quickened up a tiny bit since the first day and this morning we got a few nicks and on another day we could have had them 60 for 5 but they played well to be fair and it's hard to see a result now.

"Personally, I feel good after the shoulder injury. I bowled 16 overs today and still felt nice and fresh so that's a positive sign for me going forward."