Delray Rawlins and his Sussex teammates began their 2017 season in windy conditions at The 1st Central County Ground, as they welcomed Surrey for the opening day of a three-day friendly match at Hove.
The match had originally been scheduled to begin yesterday, but it was clear that earlier in the week, the forecast for Wednesday was particularly poor and the decision was taken to delay the beginning of the match until Thursday, and play through to and including Saturday.
Both sets of players observed a minute's silence before the start of play and wore black armbands in light of the tragic events which took place in London on Wednesday. Cricket was also remembering former Surrey and England all-rounder Ben Hollioake, who sadly passed away fifteen years ago to the day.
It was agreed that Sussex would bat for 60 overs today with the visitors taking the final 30 overs of the day, before continuing at the crease tomorrow before Sussex batted again.
Chris Nash, opening the batting with Harry Finch who was the first man to fall, LBW to England hopeful Mark Footitt for 6, made a breezy 37 before he became Footitt’s second victim, caught by Stuart Meaker.
Rawlins, who has enjoyed a fine winter with the England Under-19’s, and Laurie Evans, a winter signing from Warwickshire, then put on 74 for the third wicket. Rawlins played in the similar confident style which has brought him plenty of runs over the winter months, and had made 47 before he was bowled by a low delivery from the leg-spin of Scott Borthwick shortly before the lunch interval.
Evans made 31 before he was bowled by Matt Dunn after lunch and Ben Brown got some valuable time at the crease, and had made 38 when he was caught behind by Ollie Pope off Ravi Rampaul.
Phil Salt (48) and Jofra Archer (18) then put on unbroken stand of 55 for the sixth wicket until the Sussex innings ended at 55 overs on 241 for 5.
Surrey then batted for 12 overs and reached 49 without loss before it was deemed that the light was too poor for play to continue. Steve Magoffin, George Garton, Stuart Whittingham and Jofra Archer all got some overs under their belts before play was called for the day.