Delray Rawlins hit his maiden first-class century and shared an exhilarating sixth-wicket partnership of 128 with David Wiese during an entertaining afternoon session at Emirates Old Trafford but he could not prevent Sussex losing their Division Two match against Lancashire by an innings and 51 runs seven balls into the evening session on the third day at Emirates Old Trafford.
Lancashire gain 23 points for their victory and return to the top of the table but Sussexís third successive defeat puts a severe dent in their hopes of winning promotion this season. Matt Parkinson took four for 142 in Sussexís second innings to finish with career-best match figures of ten for 142.
The highlight of Mondayís cricket was undoubtedly the batting of Rawlins, who hit 12 fours and three sixes, reaching his century off 99 balls with his third maximum, a blow which was still rising just before crossing the rope in front of the pavilion.
Sussex seemed likely to lose heavily but Rawlinsí batting brought a smile back to the faces on the away dressing room balcony. Rawlins was dismissed next ball when Parkinson clung on to a sharp return catch.
Rawlins said: "After facing two balls and not getting any in the first innings it was nice to cash in and get the monkey off my back by getting my first hundred. I feel like Iíve been hitting the ball pretty well the last couple of weeks and Iíve got a couple of scores but Iíve not been able to kick on.
"Itís a shame about the result because nobody likes losing but itís a nice personal milestone for me. Hopefully in the next few weeks we can turn it around as a team and get some more wins. David Wiese played some incredible shots out there and he nearly caught me up at one point. Itís nice to see him back in the runs again.
"Itís been a tough couple of weeks and if anyone had got a hundred, the boys would have been on the balcony but the boys knew that getting the first one is important and it was nice to have their support and feel it out in the middle
"My bowlingís still a work in progress and hopefully in a few yearsí time I can be considered an out and out all-rounder.
"Weíve struggled a bit in championship cricket so itís nice that T20 is round the corner. We have new faces coming in and hopefully we can go one better than we did last year when we got to the final and this year actually lift the trophy."