Tuesday, September 13th, 2022


Jake Libby again showed his liking for the Sussex attack with a superb 142 not out as Worcestershire established a strong position between the showers on day two of the LV=Insurance County Championship match at Hove.

The opener had hit an unbeaten 125 when Worcestershire triumphed over Sussex at New Road last summer, and he was again in prime form in completing his second hundred of the summer.

Libby and Ed Pollock (98) gave Worcestershire a magnificent start with 195 for the first wicket, and by the close, the score had moved onto 289-2 – a lead of 69.

Only 50 overs of play was possible today before bad light ended play shortly before 5pm, but in that time, Worcestershire scored 202 runs.

Pollock again batted with great responsibility, taking few unnecessary risks, but accelerated into a more aggressive mood today as he and Libby laid an excellent platform for the later batters to take advantage.

Overnight rain meant a 10-minute delay to the start, but Worcestershire, despite gloomy skies and the floodlights being on, then plundered 53 runs in a mini eight-over session before another delay after resuming on 87-0.

Libby was the first to a half century from 98 balls with a cover drive off Brad Currie for his fifth boundary.

It also brought up the century opening partnership in 191 deliveries.

Pollock was full of attacking intent this morning and turned Brad Currie off his legs for his eighth four to reach a 106 ball fifty.

Faheem Ashraf came in for particularly heavy punishment from the left-hander.

He struck him for 18 in one over, with three fours and a six which disappeared over the deep square leg boundary.

In the initial eight overs before a stoppage, Pollock advanced from 36 to 73 with Libby on 56 when the players left the field for a short rain break.

It was a similar story when play resumed and successive boundaries by Pollock off Arshad – an upper cut over the slips and a straight drive – took him onto 98 by lunch.

Libby was then unbeaten on 77, and the morning session had produced 100 runs from just 21 overs, although Sussex did not find the right line and length in still helpful conditions.

Pollock did not add to his tally, and in the third over of the afternoon session he went back to try and force spinner Jack Carson and was caught behind.

His fine innings spanned 161 balls and contained one six and 16 fours.

Libby was joined by Azhar Ali, playing his first Championship match since late June, and the 200 up came up in the 55th over.

A rare false shot by Libby, an inside edge for four off Currie, moved him into the 90s.

Successive cover drives off the same bowler to the boundary enabled Libby to complete his hundred from 180 balls with 12 fours.

Carson struck again when Azhar on 16 tried to flick the ball down the leg side, but the ball bounced off keeper Oli Carter and ballooned up to slip.

Jack Haynes joined Libby, and the pair added a further 40 before bad light led to an end to proceedings with the second ball due immediately.