Leicestershire 326 for 8 (Patel 87, Trevaskis 82*, Handscomb 51) vs Sussex

Having lost the toss, Leicestershire will be the more satisfied with the position of the match after finishing on 326 for eight on day one of their Division Two match against Sussex in the Vitality County Championship.

Three Leicestershire batters made half-centuries, 2023 county player-of-the-year Rishi Patel hitting 12 fours and two sixes in a fluid 87. Australia’s Peter Handscomb contributed a steady 51 while all-rounder Liam Trevaskis is 82 not out on his county debut.

Sussex had the home side 63 for three midway through the morning session on a green-tinged pitch but were not able to press home their advantage.

They used eight different bowlers, although not their England quick Ollie Robinson, who is being rested for this round. Fynn Hudson-Prentice (three for 50) was the pick of them.

Patel, who hit 1,075 Championship runs last summer, might be considered unlucky not to have earned an England Lions call-up for the tour of India at the start of this year. The right-hander is a pleasing player to watch, an elegant shot-maker but with an aggressive mindset, just the kind of qualities the senior England set-up have been keen to promote.

On a pitch that did not appear to be offering as much to the bowlers as Sussex might have anticipated when they opted to bowl first, he wasted little time in making his presence felt, rattling off seven boundaries in the opening 10 overs against the new Kookaburra as he and Marcus Harris put on 59 in 61 deliveries before Sussex achieved their first breakthrough.

His own half-century, which he reached with six over long-on off the medium pace of Tom Haines, came from 59 deliveries. In another burst of boundaries as he and Leicestershire’s other Australian, Peter Handscomb, added 78 for the fourth wicket, he greeted the introduction of left-arm spinner James Coles with a second six down the ground.

Patel converted half of his fifties to hundreds last season and will doubtless feel he should have made this one count for more. He fell five overs after lunch when, having been frustrated by a sequence of tidy overs, he was tempted by a short ball from Danny Lamb and gloved a relatively easy leg-side catch to John Simpson behind the stumps.

Sussex’s three morning successes with the ball had come in a cluster. Ari Karvelas, in for Robinson, found just enough off the pitch to have Harris caught behind. Two overs later, Fynn Hudson-Prentice marked his entry into the attack by taking wickets with his second and third balls, bringing one back to uproot Louis Kimber’s off stump and then bowling Lewis Hill with a delivery that seemed to keep quite low.

Patel’s demise ushered in Trevaskis for his debut innings. The left-handed all-rounder moved to Grace Road over the winter in search of more red-ball game time after his opportunities with Durham dried up, so he has something of a point to prove.

In that context he made a good first impression, providing solid support for Handscomb in a stand that added 65 for the fifth wicket, and helping Ben Cox rebuild after the Australian was bowled by off-spinner Jack Carson, beaten in the flight attempting to slog-sweep.

Trevaskis helped eke out a further 49 with Cox before the latter, driving lavishly, bottom-edged into his stumps, and 43 with Ben Mike, who was caught-and-bowled off a leading edge after the second new ball had been taken. Tom Scriven was well caught at midwicket as Hudson-Prentice picked up a third wicket inside the last four overs of the day.

Cox’s demise provided a wicket for Tom Clark, the opening bat, who had not previously bowled his medium pace since September 2022 because of injury.

With no Rehan Ahmed in this match – the leg-spinning all-rounder is understood to be undertaking a pilgrimage to Mecca – and fast bowler Chris Wright again missing for personal reasons, Leicestershire will hope left-arm spinner Trevaskis can also prove his value with the ball.


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