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    A century from Tom Haines leads a strong Sussex reply
A century from Tom Haines leads a strong Sussex reply
Tom Haines made his second hundred of the campaign. Source: Getty Images

A century from Tom Haines leads a strong Sussex reply

Sussex opener Tom Haines scored his second century of the season. Allrounder Fynn Hudson-Prentice took a career-best 5 for 50. Their Vitality County Championship match against Leicestershire remained nicely balanced at the halfway stage.

The visitors closed on 282 for 6 in reply to Leicestershire's 338 all out. They trailed by 56.

Haines, who toured with the England Lions in the winter before last, followed up his 133 against Northamptonshire in the first round with 108, hitting 14 fours and a six. Sussex dominated the first half of the day. Haines put on 168 for the second wicket with fellow left-hander Tom Alsop, who made 49.

Leicestershire's bowlers improved as the afternoon progressed and made a significant late breakthrough. Tom Scriven produced the ball of the day to bowl Cheteswar Pujara for 38 before Matt Salisbury dismissed Hudson-Prentice with the last ball of the day.

The day began with Leicestershire adding only 12 runs to their overnight score and losing their last two wickets. Leicestershire's disappointment was somewhat alleviated by a wicket from the first ball of the Sussex innings. Tom Clark edged a decent delivery from Salisbury to third slip, but unfortunately, this was the only positive moment for Leicestershire in the entire opening session.

Haines and Alsop were mainly in charge, while Leicestershire reflected on the absence of Chris Wright and Josh Hull.

The home attack struggled to respond with the Kookaburra, highlighting Hudson-Prentice's achievement. Speaking on the first evening, the former Derbyshire seamer did not express his fondness for the Kookaburra ball. However, he saw it as an opportunity for county bowlers to develop different skills rather than a hindrance.

He completed his second career five-for in just his first 10 deliveries on the second morning. Liam Trevaskis was bowled, albeit through a wide gap between bat and pad, before Salisbury was caught behind by John Simpson.

Trevaskis has scored over fifty runs on eight occasions in first-class cricket but is yet to convert any of them into a century. He did not add to his overnight score of 82.

Salisbury's early success with the ball suggested that Sussex had work to do before reducing Leicestershire's total. Although Alsop survived a chance off Salisbury to Scott Currie at short midwicket on 29, the second-wicket pair were not parted until 20 overs into the afternoon.

Both batsmen were dismissed within four overs. Alsop was bowled after adding 168 runs with Salisbury, while shouldering arms to a delivery from Salisbury. Haines, who had scored 50 runs from 63 balls and completed his century from 128 balls, was caught at mid-off while attempting a pull shot against Currie. The innings contained 14 fours and a six and was, for the most part, enjoyable to watch.

The 25-year-old left-hander earned his Lions call-up by registering three centuries in each of his first two full seasons. He failed to repeat this success last season, passing fifty six times without managing to make three figures once.

With the fall of those wickets, Leicestershire's seamers began to bowl better as a collective. In particular, Ben Mike, who was repeatedly no-balled for overstepping in his first two spells, was rewarded with a wicket when James Coles, tempted to go after a short-pitched ball, spooned a catch to mid-on.

They also succeeded in significantly reducing the scoring rate, which persuaded skipper Lewis Hill to delay taking the new ball until four overs after it was due.

A missed opportunity to cause more damage with the old ball occurred when Simpson, on 9, was dropped at midwicket off Trevaskis. When the new ball was taken, Scriven delivered an excellent delivery to beat Pujara's defensive bat and clip off stump. Salisbury also bowled Hudson-Prentice with a ball that may have kept a touch low.

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