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Archer tears through Foxes, as Sussex bide their time with captaincy decision

(Photo: Getty Images)

By Richard Rae

Head coach Mark Davis says Sussex will not rush into making a decision on the club captaincy after stand-in skipper Chris Nash oversaw a second successive victory, keeping them in touch in the promotion race.

“We’ve had a hectic time over the last three weeks but now we’ve got a bit of time to think and reflect, and I’m sure in a week we’ll know a little bit more,” said the South African, who was delighted with the character shown by his side in coming from behind to complete a five wicket victory over a Leicestershire side which remains winless.

“Chris has done very well, the team has played well under him, but captaincy is a tricky one, so much of it is dictated by how well your players perform,” said Davis.

With fellow seamers David Wiese and Vernon Philander both picking up injuries in the match, Sussex’s 22-year-old fast bowler Jofra Archer shouldered the burden to hugely impressive effect, completing a career-best match return of 11-137 from 42.3 overs, taking his Championship haul for the season to 35 wickets.

But Davis also singled out the efforts of Danny Briggs, who took part in a match-changing last wicket stand of 83 with Philander – a tenth-wicket record for Sussex against Leicestershire, eclipsing the 80 compiled by John Vinsett and Harry Butt at Aylestone Road in 1909 – and bowled with outstanding flight and control on a wicket offering no assistance, as well as batsman Luke Wells.

Wells’ patient second innings 90 not out steered his side home, and left the tall left-hander averaging over 100 for the season.

“He scored 258 at Hove against Durham, but in certain respects that undefeated 90 was a better innings, under huge pressure on a difficult pitch against a very good attack to win the game,” said Davis.

Leicestershire head coach Pierre de Bruyn was scathing about the Foxes’ failure to enforce victory.

“We have missed a massive opportunity, we were driving the game, but our third innings disease came in again and we let ourselves down.

“It’s a mental thing, it’s that resilience, the fight, the ‘mongrel’ you have to show to get through difficult phases. Some guys showed it at times, but we need to be a lot better in that area.”

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