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  • Specsavers County Championship 2m

    Dent stands up to Sussex onslaught

    Chris Dent and David Payne saved Gloucestershire's blushes on the first day of their final Specsavers County Championship game of the season, against Sussex at the Brightside Ground.

     
    Chris Dent and David Payne saved Gloucestershire's blushes on the first day of their final Specsavers County Championship game of the season, against Sussex at the Brightside Ground.
     
    The 25-year-old left-hander Dent showed terrific resilience throughout the opening day on a wicket that provided the visiting bowlers with plenty of lateral movement.
     
    He saw seven partners depart before Gloucestershire had reached 100 but then, with Payne at his side, led the host county into an unlikely, but gratefully accepted position of relative strength, at 201 for 7.
     
    Happy to field first, Sussex made up for a delayed start by taking three Gloucestershire wickets inside 15 overs. Chris Jordan bowled Gareth Roderick (0) in the sixth over before Steve Magoffin added 19-year-old debutant James Bracey (2), two overs later, and Ollie Robinson bowled George Hankins (2) at 12 for 3 in the 15th over.
     
     
     
    New Zealander Hamish Marshall, in his last game for the county he has represented so well for the past 10 years, provided temporary resistance, but eventually perished, lbw to Magoffin for 14 at 38 for 4.
     
    Boundaries were hard to come by and though Phil Mustard hit an early four through extra cover, it was to be his only scoring shot. Magoffin, with his tail up, found the outside edge of the wicket keeper's bat and Sussex keeper Ben Brown took the catch.
     
    At 42 for 5, Sussex must have felt they would be batting sooner rather than later. However, the indomitable Dent stuck to his task and despite losing sixth wicket partner Jack Taylor (5) at 68 for 6, he joined forces with Craig Miles and then Payne, to guide Gloucestershire towards a total that at one stage, looked nothing more than a pipe dream.
     
     
     
    Miles helped himself to 20 before falling to a smart leg-side catch by Brown off Jofra Archer, at 97 for 7, and thereafter, Dent reached his 50 off 137 balls, with seven fours.
     
    Better known for taking wickets than scoring runs, Payne played sensibly at the opposite end and having reached tea, on 143 for 7, Gloucestershire increased the tempo in the final session with Dent finishing the day unbeaten on 86 and Payne 48 not out. 
     
    When bad light forced the players off, with 28 overs of the day remaining, the eighth wicket pair had not only taken the score through the 200 barrier, but had posted their century stand, in less than 23 overs.
     
    Gloucestershire's Chris Dent said; "It was pretty tough out there, the conditions were difficult from the start. 
     
    "I think everyone found it tricky. it was certainly slow going. But they are a good bowling attack, all four of those seamers are very good and with the conditions helping, it was obviously a struggle.
     
    "In fact to get to 200 is good considering at one stage, I felt we might be lucky to get 150."

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