Thursday, June 1st, 2017

Wright Returns To The Ranks For Worcs Clash

Luke Wright is confident “a big score is around the corner” as he prepares a return to the Sussex ranks this weekend.

Chris Nash will lead the county against Worcestershire at Hove after Wright stepped down as captain on Thursday, less than two months into his second season in charge.

Wright didn’t score a Championship hundred during his time in charge.

His last major contribution was a career-best 226 against Worcestershire at New Road in September 2015.

And he admits Sussex need him and their top-order batsmen to start firing on a consistent basis if they are to avoid being left behind in the Division Two promotion race.

Three of their four defeats so far have come against the early pacesetters.

They were beaten for the second time this season by Kent at Tunbridge Wells last week after being dismissed for 164 in the first innings.

They have also lost to leaders Nottinghamshire and now face a Worcestershire side looking to make it five wins out of five at a venue where they won last season.

Only Luke Wells and Stiaan van Zyl have scored Championship centuries this season in the win over Durham in their last home game a fortnight ago.

Wright averages 22.86 while openers Nash (average 17.00) and Harry Finch (7.57) have found it tough to get their team off to a decent start.

Wright knows only hard work – and a bit more luck – can turn things around.

“As a team, we do need more people scoring some big runs more often,” he admitted. “The top order has struggled a bit this season, overall. Chris Nash, for instance, is getting more than his share of good balls at the moment.

“But we’ve all got to keep putting the work in knowing that it will change around. You have to be tough and stick at it. These periods are part and parcel of county cricket, you just have to make sure you cash in when you are in good nick and things go your way.”

Wright believes he is in decent form and is confident that he can soon start scoring consistent runs again.

“I am hitting the ball pretty well at the moment, but I just seem to keep getting out to balls going down the leg side and getting caught behind and stuff,” he added.

“That’s the game for you, though, and I would only be really upset about it if I was playing badly. I know that a couple of big scores are around the corner.”

Steve Magoffin could be fit to return to their bowling attack against Worcestershire this weekend as he recovers from a knee injury after being named in the squad.

Jofra Archer has already picked up 19 Championship scalps and Vernon Philander goes into the game fresh from taking 4-39 – his best figures for the county – against Kent.

Wright agrees that Sussex are already playing catch-up in the promotion race but has been around long enough to know their race is far from run.

Wright added: “Kent, Notts and Worcestershire have all got off to a flyer in this division and it’s going to be hard work getting into the mix with them, but there’s still a lot of Championship cricket to be played this season.

“We do have to start beating those sides, though, starting with Worcestershire this weekend.”