Naughty balls cost Sussex dear
Ed Joyce had no complaints about Sussex losing in the county championship to Middlesex - but said a poor pitch produced too many ‘naughty balls’ for the batsmen to play.
Sussex were bowled out for 207 chasing 287 to win at Hove, leaving them third in the division one LVCC table but 21 points behind their visitors, who are now top.
Skipper Joyce said: “It was a poor wicket. We are trying to get more pace and bounce into our pitches but that probably did too much, there were too many naughty balls.
“We were outplayed and can’t have any complaints but we did give ourselves a chance to win and that’s a positive for us.
“Of our four games we could have won all of them or lost all of them. We’ve won two and I’d rather have that record than three draws and a loss because I want us to be positive and try and put ourselves in a winning position each time.
“A score of 287 was always going to be tough but I thought Mike Yardy batted beautifully. He was desperate to get runs in this game and it was good to see him do so.”
Adam Voges, the Middlesex captain, said: “My honest assessment is that it wasn’t a great wicket. I just felt the variable bounce combined with the sideways movement from the first day made it difficult and the fact that only one batsman (Mike Yardy) got to 50 proved that.
“The sun came out today and it played a bit better and the 83 runs our last four wickets put on were like gold. Our tail did a great job in both innings and gave us a great bit of momentum.
“We have started tremendously well. It’s a close knit group and they are very talented so there’s no reason why we can’t continue our good start. Steve Finn has bowled well all season and has just been a bit unlucky at times so it was good to see him get four wickets. His pace is up and his areas are good.
“I had a bit of a hunch with Neil Dexter and he did a terrific job. He found enough sideways movement and getting Michael Yardy just before tea was crucial. He gets wickets in clusters.”
Voges flies to Antigua on Monday to join the Australia tour party in the West Indies and said: “I am really looking forward to what’s coming up. I might be back for the run-in but it depends if Perth Scorchers play in the Champions League. If it works out for both parties and I can come back that would be great and hopefully we are in a position to challenge for the title.”