Wednesday, 13 September 2017
Sussex v Derbyshire day 2
Sussex 271 (Viljoen 7-80)
Derbyshire lead by 98 runs
There's a cracking game of cricket going on at Hove.
I just hope that the weather doesn't disrupt things too much and that Derbyshire are as committed and focused over the next two days as they have been over the first two.
98 runs on with eight wickets in hand. Let's not forget that Billy Godleman won't bat, so an acknowledged short batting line-up has to find a hero or two tomorrow. Perhaps this is the day when Wayne Madsen returns to his usual four-day form, or the younger guns in the order steer us to a challenging score that sets 275-plus in the final innings.
We'll see, but today was all about Hardus Viljoen, fast and firing, taking seven wickets in the innings. It was the first time that this has been done by a Derbyshire bowler from overseas since 1992 (Ian Bishop, since you ask) and a reward for spells in which he ran in hard and got it down the other end a tad too briskly for some of the home batsmen. With four clean bowled, the radar was locked on today and Hardus got his just rewards.
We've done well, but could easily lose this game if we don't show the necessary application from here. Sussex are challenging for promotion and need to win this one, so will undoubtedly come out with guns blazing tomorrow.
That they are still in contention is largely down to two players of talent and experience, Luke Wright and David Wiese. The former has been a loyal servant of the county, while Wiese is a good, all-round cricketer, the kind we need for 2018. He scores valuable runs and takes wickets, a perfect player to have coming in at number eight when an innings is in freefall.
Wiese was dismissed by Hamidullah Qadri, a reward for another tight spell from the precociously talented youngster. After his first over went for eleven, Qadri's next eight went for only 20, control quite remarkable for a player who won't be seventeen until December.
To win, we need to bat and bowl well again and Viljoen cannot be expected to bowl them out twice. There was an early wicket for Harry Podmore and one for Will Davis, but both will need to lend strong support in the second innings if we are to come out on top at the end.
Big day tomorrow...