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Match Report
Derek Scott

Two days after the Hampshire match Sussex were played at Hove for the second successive year. Ireland won the toss and batted and, as last year in this match, batted reasonably well. It was all in vain. MP Speight (too ill to play at all in 1995 for Sussex) scored 64 off 26 balls in an opening stand of 79 in 5.4 overs: He hit two sixes and 12 fours in a remarkable whirlwind innings. 19 runs were scored in Patterson's second over and 19 more in the next over bowled by Eagleson. Patterson's next over, the 6th, went for 22 but Speight was out on the fourth ball. Normality was then restored. Athey, Speight's opening partner, was out at 90 - for three, off only 11 balls. AP Wells and K Greenfield then made fifty each. The game finished in exactly 20 overs when three sixes were hit off Patterson. In all five sixes and 25 fours were struck. The unfortunate Patterson took two for 66 in six overs. Eagleson had 47 hit off four overs. McCrum 28 off four and Graham 24 off three.

Ireland replaced Rea with Dunlop as the only change from the match -v- Hampshire. Harrison opened Ireland's innings for the first time in his 99th match. Both he and his partner, Warke, were out in the 5th over which was bowled by West Indian Drakes. Harrison was lbw and Warke caught at second slip. Smyth and Lewis played well to repair the situation. In 10 overs 36 were added. Smyth took 11 off four balls of Jarvis's second over but Lewis was lbw to the last ball. 46-3-11. Smyth was next to go, and very unluckily. His fierce drive was deflected by the bowler, Newell, to mid-off who caught it. 46-4-32. Smyth had stroked five fours and was out in the 18th over. Now came the best stand. Benson joined Dunlop, whom Wells let off when only two, in a 70 run stand in 20 overs mostly bowled by Jarvis, Newell, Salisbury and Greenfield. Both batsmen started slowly and 100 was up in over 31. In over 34, from spinner Greenfield, Dunlop hit 16 in all and 4-4-6 off successive balls, the six over long-on. Early in the over Salisbury dropped him on a attempt at long-on. Dunlop reached 50 and was out almost at once. He missed a Salisbury full toss and was lbw. He faced 49 balls and hit a six and five fours. This was Dunlop's first 50 since his debut match in 1990. Dunlop's dismissal brought a disappointing end to the innings.

With Graham in Benson, the established batsman, got very little strike. Only 42 runs came off the last 10 overs and only 14 off the last five. Drakes returned and took three wickets for three runs in four overs. He bowled Graham; Benson top edged a full toss to mid-wicket and Eagleson gave Salisbury his third catch. Benson's 35 occupied 88 balls. Sussex used six bowlers. Drakes took five for 19 in 10 overs and was easily the best. England leg spinner, Salisbury, had one for 42 in his 10 overs.

Athey and Speight had six up after two overs. Of the next 22 balls Speight faced 20. He hit, two sixes (one off a no ball) and 12 fours, scored three singles, failed to score off two no balls and faced three "dot" balls and was out. He was brilliantly caught at short fine leg by Eagleson diving. One six was lost out of the ground over backward point and another was top edged for six when Patterson bowled a bouncer from 18 yards! Patterson now had one for 39 in three overs. In the next over Athey (3 off 17 balls) bottom edged to Rutherford. The score was 90 for two in 7.3 overs!

No more wickets fell as Wells and Greenfield eased their way to victory in exactly 20 overs. Graham, McCrum, Lewis and Harrison all had a bowl to no avail. One Graham over cost 15 and a McCrum over likewise. Patterson bowled the last over which cost 22 with three sixes, two to Wells and one to Greenfield. Both batsmen completed 50 in this over, Wells 53 off 37 balls and Greenfield 51 off 44. In all five sixes and 25 fours were struck.

Speight was Man-of-the-Match.