Special moment for Rayner as Middlesex go top

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Ollie Rayner hit a half century against Derbyshire to send Middlesex to the top of the LV County Championship Division Two. Rayner’s 58 not out, added to Gareth Berg’s 80, helped Middlesex to victory by three wickets last week.

Rayner shut the door firmly in Derbyshire’s face and drove Ross Whiteley for two consecutive fours to win a pulsating contest.

Reflecting on his season so far, following his loan move from Sussex, Rayner said, “I’ve had a really good time; the boys have made me feel at home.

“The batting’s going really well, to knock the winning runs at Derby was a special moment for me.”

In their current game at Lord’s, Rayner made 35 in the Middlesex first innings total of 445 against Surrey.

Sussex survived a wobble before overcoming Durham to record their first win of the season in Division One.

Ben Brown fared better than in previous weeks and hit 61 in a fifth-wicket stand with Luke Wells, who scored his maiden first-class century. Their combined 128 took Sussex to within 32 of victory.

Amjad Khan and Andrew Hodd held their nerve and scored the runs needed for a victory.

In their current game against Lancashire at Hove, the visitors hit a huge 590 with Sussex yesterday 258-6 in reply, Brown lbw to Glen Chapple for seven.

Local cricketer Tom Smith played for Middlesex 2nd XI last week in their draw against Lancashire, but didn’t feature with the bat. He is currently taking on Sussex 2nd XI and their 16-year-old wicket keeper Callum Jackson who also hails from Eastbourne.