Rain denies Somerset and Sussex
The weather was the winner in Taunton as the LV= County Championship game between Somerset and Sussex, who were denied the chance to go top of Division One, ended in a frustrating draw.
Second-placed Sussex looked favourites for victory when play began an hour late, needing 133 with all wickets intact, but three strikes from Somerset’s leading wicket-taker Peter Trego and two for Abdur Rehman brought the hosts right back into contention.
Sadly, the intermittent rain restricted play to only 24.3 overs and the prospect of a nail-biting finish fizzled out with Sussex needing 49 runs and Somerset five wickets for victory when umpires Rob Bailey and Nick Cook finally abandoned the match at 4:45pm.
Starting the day 31 without loss, Sussex lost Ed Joyce in the third over when he was caught by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler looking to drive a wide ball from Trego.
With the weather threatening, Luke Wright was promoted to number three and looked to push the score along - plundering 18 off Trego’s next over to take the Sussex total to 66.
However, Somerset then claimed three wickets for one run to bring them right back into the game.
First to go was Chris Nash, bowled by Trego for 26 as he looked to drive the fifth ball of the seventh over.
From the last delivery of the next, Murray Goodwin attempted to sweep left-arm spinner Rehman but top-edged to Sajid Mahmood at short fine-leg.
Trego claimed his third victim when he bowled Wright for 22 as he looked to drive, and Sussex were 72 for four.
Despite bad light, the players remained out on the field and Michael Yardy and Luke Wells saw Sussex to lunch on 96.
Rehman raised Somerset’s hopes again when Yardy pushed forward to his first delivery after the break and was caught low down by Marcus Trescothick at first slip.
After two complete overs, the rain fell once more and the players trooped off with Sussex 98 for five.
Play restarted at 2:50pm and, soon after, an edged four through the slips by Ben Brown brought the hundred up.
Yet only 7.3 more overs were possible before the rain returned with Sussex on 115 for five, after which there was no further action.
Trego ended with 3-60, while Rehman took 2-47. Second-placed Sussex took eight points while Somerset, two positions further back, claimed seven.