Delray Rawlins’ all-round show gets Sussex up and running

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Sussex 334 for 9 (Rawlins 91, Pujara 63, Ibrahim 50, van Meekeren 5-48) beat Gloucestershire 283 (Bracey 87, Gohar 53, Karvelas 3-35, Rawlins 3-50) with 51 runs

A fine all round display by Delray Rawlins, who followed a thunderous innings of 91 off just 62 balls with figures of 3 for 50, saw Sussex take the win over Gloucestershire by 51 runs in the Royal London One-Day Cup at Hove. In a strong group, in which both teams had lost their opening game, this was an important result.

Gloucestershire, who chose to bowl first, got an unlikely target of 335. But on a real pitch with a fast outfield, they came closer than the final margin of victory would suggest.

When captain Jack Taylor took fifth on 146 in the 23rd over Gloucestershire’s light top heavy hitting side, he seemed out of whack. But then a score of 91 in 12 overs between James Bracey (87) and Zafar Gohar (53) gave them the platform for an unlikely win. Then Ari Karvelas returned to charge and immediately had the battling Bracey caught on a deep back square leg. But even when Gohar was seventh at 261, Gloucestershire kept fighting and kept the run rate just within reach.

They wanted 86 out of 13, 77 out of 12 and 70 out of the last ten overs before Rawlins, with the last delivery of his spell, knocked out Josh Shaw in ninth, lbw, and Ollie Robinson finished the game when he caught Tom Price behind for 25 .

Sussex’s innings were dominated by Rawlins and two more artful half-centuries by Cheteshwar Pujara (63) and Danial Ibrahim (50). Both Rawlins and Ibraham, who added 104 for the sixth wicket in ten overs, scored their best in List A cricket.

Earlier in their innings, Sussex must have been concerned about how many batters had entered and then went out before it made a significant contribution. Harrison Ward (37) and Ali Orr (35) gave their game an early boost with a score of 58 in eight overs. Ward, in particular, looked on top form as he scored 14 from three deliveries, giving Price four and six before dragging him for another four.

But then they came out, and when Tom Clark fell cheaply—until a fine jumping, left-handed catch midway through Taylor—it was left to Pujara and Tom Alsop to restructure the innings.

They got to 70 in 12 overs, but just when Alsop looked ready to go wild, he passed on to the very impressive Dutch fast bowler Paul van Meekeren for a 35-ball 35. Sussex captain Pujara scored just two fours in his fifty , but with nimble placement, he hit the milestone with just 57 balls. He too seemed in the mood to accelerate and hit two more fours, but when he went through the wicket to Tom Smith, he was stunned.

By now, however, Rawlins had hit the ball neatly. He had been dropped off at Smith when he was 18 – a sitter too tall – but a lofted straight drive for six from Smith showed he was in the mood. There were four sixes and seven fours and by the time he was eighth out on 330, this richly talented but often frustrating cricketer had played an innings of real value.

He was well supported by 17-year-old Ibrahim, who was dropped on 9 and 29 – both times from Shaw – on a difficult day in the field for Gloucestershire.

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