Recent Match Report – Yorkshire vs Sussex Group 3 2021

Yorkshire 150 and 163 for 5 (Lyth 66, Ballance 36*, Carson 3-35) lead Sussex 221 (Haines 86, Patterson 4-26) by 92 runs

Yorkshire and Sussex were grappling for the ascendancy as their match threatened to dissolve into a three-day dogfight at Hove. Yorkshire’s lead was approaching three figures, with the reassuringly solid figure of Gary Ballance booking in for an overnight stay, but Jack Carson, Sussex’s 20-year-old offspinner, snapped up three second-innings wickets – including that of England captain Joe Root – to keep tails wagging in the home dressing room.

Yorkshire’s fightback began with the ball, Duanne Olivier and Steve Patterson collecting contrasting four-fors as Sussex lost their last seven wicket for 53. Adam Lyth then made his third half-century of the season, to go with two centuries, as Yorkshire overturned a 71-run deficit. But, having carved out a slender advantage through another solid opening stand, a middle-order wobble during the evening session, which included the much-prized wicket of Root, left the game in the balance… and the Ballance.

With Sean Hunt unable to bowl after sustaining a side strain, an even greater weight fell on the shoulders of Ollie Robinson, Sussex’s attack leader and a man with the bit between his teeth in pursuit of higher honours. Robinson sent back Lyth during a searching spell but that was his sole success, while George Garton could not find his first-innings spark despite claiming the wicket of Harry Brook.

Garton let slip on the first evening that Robinson had gone into this match declaring his intention of bagging Root twice, as a means of pushing his case to win a Test debut this summer. In the end, he only managed to bowl a total of four balls at the England captain, before Carson had an appeal upheld for caught behind – not that Root appeared to agree with Paul Pollard’s decision.

Carson wasn’t hanging around, taking off on a dash across the square – “I went for the old Alan Shearer wheel-away, I couldn’t really contain my excitement” – and he celebrated each of his wickets with abandon. “Bowling to someone of that calibre, a little bit of nerves can creep in, but the off stump’s still the off stump, doesn’t matter who it is,” he said. “It’s just about trying to land it in there as much as I can and let the wicket do the rest.”

Born in Northern Ireland but on Sussex’s books from the age of 11, Carson has impressed with his flight and control in only his seventh first-class match. Tom Kohler-Cadmore was deceived into walking past one to be stumped and Jonny Tattersall edged to slip late in the day; Carson also saw Lyth dropped at deep square leg off a drag-down. With increasing purchase for spin, his success could point to a pivotal role for Dom Bess in the fourth innings.

For the second day running, it seemed as if Lyth would be the story. At the age of 33, the left-hander may be unlikely to add to his seven Test appearances, but in passing 50 for the fifth time in six innings he continued a fine start to the season. He began this round of the Championship as the competition’s leading run-scorer and, although David Bedingham’s double-hundred at Chester-le-Street has relegated him to second spot, he was within sight of 500 for the campaign when Robinson speared one into his front pad.

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