Wells puts Sussex in strong position
Luke Wells scored a second century of the season against Surrey to put Sussex in a strong position to force a victory at stumps on day three of the LV= County Championship Division One match at Horsham.
The 21-year-old left-hander made the most of his recall to lead a superb lower-order fightback from the hosts.
From 87 for six they stormed to a first-innings total of 351 and when Surrey went in again trailing by 227 they lost opener Jason Roy before reaching stumps on 39 for one.
Naveed Arif Gondal accompanied Wells to survive a testing first hour from Stuart Meaker, who took three wickets in three overs on the second day, and Murali Kartik. But they prospered to put on 85 for the seventh wicket before Naveed was caught at slip off Kartik's left-arm spin in the last over before lunch.
Wells had a reprieve on 88 when he was dropped by Gareth Batty at slip shortly after the spinner had taken evasive action when a boundary board came hurtling towards him in swirling winds.
He settled down to complete the fifth hundred of his career. Strong off the front foot, piercing cover and extra-cover drives brought him the majority of his 15 fours and it was a surprise when he was ninth out.
Having batted for just under six hours and faced 277 balls, he edged behind to wicketkeeper Steven Davies, who held on at the second attempt to give Kartik his fourth wicket.
There was excellent support from the lower order as Wells shared a stand of 64 for the eighth wicket with Steve Magoffin, who was eventually held at midwicket off Jon Lewis.
After Wells departed, Sussex continued to prosper. James Anyon made a career-best 64 not out, with five fours and two sixes, and even Monty Panesar enjoyed himself as he compiled 31, lofting Kartik over long-on for a six which even the bowler applauded, as the last-wicket pair put on 80 in 15 overs.
It left Surrey with 14 overs to negotiate before stumps but after Roy and Mark Ramprakash took the score to 38 with few alarms. The former fell in the penultimate over for 35, giving a tame catch to Luke Wright at cover after he appeared to lose sight of a bouncer from Magoffin.