Sussex pair Arif and Panesar deny Lancashire

LV County Championship Division One, Hove
Sussex 290 & 459-9 drew with Lancashire 590
Lancashire 10pts, Sussex 7pts
Match scorecard
Naved Arif
Naved Arif signed a one-year deal with Sussex in February

Sussex last-wicket pair Naved Arif and Monty Panesar shared a stand of 90 to deny early leaders Lancashire at Hove.

Arif made a maiden first-class hundred (100no) and Panesar was unbeaten on 17 as they defied Lancashire for 24 overs.

After Sussex resumed on 147-0, 153 behind, Ed Joyce hit 140 but Lancashire still looked set for a late run chase when the hosts slipped to 369-9.

But with Saj Mahmood ordered out of the attack for bowling a beamer, Sussex were able to save the game on 459-9.

Lancashire's hopes of claiming their third successive win were not helped when former England seamer Mahmood had to be taken out of the attack for bowling his second beamer of the innings at Joyce just after Lancashire had taken the second new ball.

With skipper Glen Chapple struggling because of a sore ankle and forced to cut his run-up, Lancashire lacked penetration on a flat pitch which offered very little for the bowlers apart from some slow turn for left-arm spinner Gary Keedy, who bowled 55 overs and took four wickets but conceded 200 runs.

Opener Joyce batted for 98 overs but, when he was eighth out on the stroke of tea, Sussex only led by 66.

Amjad Khan then fell for the addition of just three more runs.

But Pakistan-born Arif, who is English qualified because of his Danish wife, then defied the frustrated Lancashire attack along with Panesar, no stranger to situations like this after his Ashes heroics at Cardiff in 2009.

There were 10 overs left when the players shook hands after Arif, 29, had gone to his hundred by sweeping Steven Croft for four.

The visitors had looked on course when they took four wickets in seven overs at the start of the day.

Having added 169 for the first wicket with Joyce, Chris Nash was bowled by Chapple's inswinger and, three balls later, Luke Wells edged to slip.

Murray Goodwin, who had made 113 in the first innings, was deceived in the flight as he came down the pitch to Keedy, while Ben Brown was beaten by Stephen Moore's throw from cover after Joyce rightly sent him back when he looked for a single to get off the mark.

Mahmood's inswinger accounted for Luke Wright but Joyce found two useful allies during the afternoon session to lead the lower-order resistance.

He added 43 in 15 overs with Andrew Hodd and 56 in 10 with Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, whose boisterous 32 included two sixes.

Joyce, who reached the 25th hundred of his career with a boundary off Mahmood, was dropped on 104 by Peter Horton at slip. But he had moved on to 140 when occasional off-spinner Croft got a delivery to turn and bounce to have him taken at slip after a near six-and-a-half hour vigil.

His departure seemed to signal the end of Sussex's resistance. But, mixing watchful defence with some bold hitting against the spinners, Arif dominated a last-wicket alliance that also saw him despatch four sixes over the short pavilion-side boundary.

Lancashire now move on to Chelmsford for Monday's CB40 game against Essex.


BBC Radio Lancashire's Liam Bradford:

"Lancashire will be ruing an opportunity missed as they sit on the coach to Essex.

"They outplayed Sussex for three and three-quarter days and only a stubborn final-wicket stand between Monty Panesar and Naved Arif prevented a third victory of the season.

"Chances are the name of the game and it was chances that weren't given alongside the sheer amount of extras that have cost Lancashire dear in this one. The solution? Chalk it up to experience and move on to Essex on Monday."