Wells hits unbeaten 90 to clinch Sussex five-wicket victory against Leicestershire

Sussex's Luke Wells hit 90 not out.
Picture by PW Sporting Photography
Sussex's Luke Wells hit 90 not out. Picture by PW Sporting Photography
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Luke Wells, with 90 not out, guided Sussex to a five-wicket victory on the final afternoon of the Specsavers Division Two county championship match against Leicestershire at the Fischer County Ground.

Leicestershire 340 and 175 Sussex 284 and 234-5

Needing early breakthroughs when Sussex resumed chasing 232 to win, Leicestershire dismissed night-watchman Danny Briggs when only five runs had been added to the visitors’ overnight score of 100-2.

Clint McKay found the edge of the right-hander’s bat, and Paul Horton at first slip held a brilliant catch one-handed to his left when the ball seemed to have gone past him.

Wells, 27 not out overnight, had played himself back in though, and the left-hander received solid support from Staanie van Zyl in compiling a partnership of 70 for the fourth wicket.

Sussex head coach Mark Davis said: “We’re delighted, because with our other two wins this season we were pretty much always ahead of the game but with this one we came from behind, showed loads of character and loads of skill and guts, and it was a proper team effort.

“That last wicket partnership between Danny Briggs and Vernon Philander to get us within touching distance on first innings was very important, because batting last on a wicket where it was going increasingly up and down was never going to be easy.

“Even chasing 232 was a big ask, because the ball was going up and down and they bowled well and kept coming at us. Luke Wells was outstanding, he was under huge pressure on a difficult pitch.”

Neither batsman took unnecessary risks, though Wells did go to his half-century in style, hitting off-spinner Colin Ackermann for a beautifully-timed straight six.

He did lose van Zyl shortly before lunch, when the South African unaccountably decided to leave a delivery from Ben Raine bowled from around the wicket which went on to knock his off-stump out of the ground.

Luke Wright went shortly after the break, edging a catch to Horton at first slip off Zak Chappell, and if Ned Eckersley had held a Wells edge behind the stumps off the same bowler shortly afterwards, Leicestershire might have had entertained hopes of an unlikely victory.

The chance was spilled, however, and Wells and former Leicestershire player Michael Burgess saw the visitors home.

Sussex 21pts, Leics 6pts.