STUMPS: Hobden's Championship best gives Sussex slight upper hand

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Matthew Hobden was amongst the wickets today for Sussex

Matthew Hobden produced career-best LV=County Championship figures to give Sussex a slight advantage after another bowler-dominated day at The County Ground, Hove.

Hobden took 4 for 43 in a telling ten over burst, before Rikki Clarke led Warwickshire’s fightback with an unbeaten 32 on the second day. Bad light stopped play after an over of the final session with Warwickshire 180 for 7, a lead of 169, and even though the floodlights were in use it didn’t improve sufficiently to allow a resumption.

Two players, Chris Wright and Tim Ambrose, needed treatment after being hit on the helmet but while the occasional ball has bounced disconcertingly there has also been some fine bowling, not least by the 22-year-old Hobden who settled into a probing line and discomfited the batsmen with his extra pace.

Wright, who had been promoted to No.3 with Ian Westwood unable to bat after he was hit on the hand by Chris Jordan on the first day, was defeated by Hobden’s first ball and with his tenth delivery he had Jonathan Trott (16) also taken expertly at second slip by Jordan.

Ambrose (32) counter-attacked with six boundaries only to be caught behind trying to cut a delivery well outside off stump and Laurie Evans became Hobden’s fourth victim when he was bowled for nine. At the other end, Steve Magoffin picked up two wickets, his inswinger defeating Varun Chopra for six before he knocked out Keith Barker’s off stump. Ollie Robinson claimed his seventh wicket in the match when stand-in opener Ateed Javid was caught at point forcing off the back foot after battling for 93 minutes for 27 runs.

Batting at times was difficult but Sussex opener Luke Wells had earlier shown what was possible with sound judgement before he was ninth out for 92 when he became a fourth victim for off-spinner Jeetan Patel to a ball that kept low, having batted for four hours and hit 12 fours and a six in 181 balls faced.

Sussex, who had resumed on 140 for 5, lost wickets regularly in the morning session with no one able to match Wells’ skilful innings until Magoffin (15) helped him add 25 for the ninth wicket to take Sussex into the lead. Patel finished with four for 24.

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