On a very rain-delayed day at Hove there were concerns over the fitness of Jofra Archer, playing in his first Championship game of the year. Archer suffered a recurrence of the elbow problems which meant he flew home before the one-day series in India and missed the IPL. To the seeming surprise of Ben Brown, the Sussex captain, Archer did not open the bowling from the Sea End and in fact didn’t bowl at all on day three, having sent down just five overs on day two. Sussex confirmed that he would not bowl again in the match, which would seem to make him a long shot for the Test squad against New Zealand, named on Tuesday.
“I think there was some confusion about the state of Jofra’s [right] elbow,” Ian Salisbury, the Sussex coach, said afterwards. “Ben thought he was going to bowl but his elbow was sore. Any time that Jofra can’t bowl you’re going to be frustrated as a leader, or as a team. But it happens. In sport people get injured. That’s life. That’s sport. He’s still willing to be out there because he wants Sussex to win.” Zak Crawley danced to 85 as Kent made a better fist of their second innings.
Joe Root was bowled for 99 after resurrecting Yorkshire’s innings alongside his captain Steven Patterson. Root, wearing a huge short-sleeved jumper, played the difficult pitch with touch-perfection. But, after being somewhat marooned in the 90s, he got an inside edge to a ball from Dan Douthwaite, which squirted on to his stumps. The No 11 Ben Coad lasted two balls, leaving Patterson unbeaten on 47 and Yorkshire with an invaluable first-innings lead of 81. Glamorgan’s second innings stuttered, with Marnus Labuschagne, yet to find his mojo, out for a three-ball duck, stumps splattered. Kiran Carlson and David Lloyd then applied a steady hand as the shadows grew.
Essex’s Simon Harmer took a career-best nine for 80 as Derbyshire limped to 146 all out. Bowling with variation and a bounce in his step after a couple of skimpy matches, Derbyshire’s batsmen tumbled like dominoes on a slope, losing six for 43. Harmer was denied all 10 by part-time spinner Dan Lawrence, for the second time in his career. Following on, Derbyshire’s innings started badly when Luis Reece was bowled for nought, but Brooke Guest batted sweetly to make his maiden first-class fifty.
Middlesex’s batting once again proved flaky in the face of Kyle Abbott and Mohammad Abbas, as they collapsed to a seven-wicket defeat to Hampshire. They staggered to 101 in their second innings, the highest score captain Peter Handscombe’s 24. Hampshire needed just 66 to win, a race against the weather, but Sam Northeast eased them home. Abbott finished with 11 for 85 in the match.
Centuries from Durham’s Will Young and Jack Burnham, his first since 2016, and 86 from Ned Eckersley, who ping-ponged six sixes, left Worcestershire with a tricky final day at the Riverside.