Northants v Sussex: Luke Wells closes in on century

Luke Wells
Wells has now reached his highest score of the season, beating his previous best this year of 81
LV= County Championship Division One, Wantage Road
Close, day three: Sussex 368 & 209-3 v Northants 294
Sussex 6 pts, Northants 4pts
Match scorecard

Luke Wells is nine runs away of a first Championship century of the season as Sussex built a lead over Northants.

Rob Keogh (129) added 25 to his overnight score as Northants were dismissed for 294, while Steve Magoffin finished with figures of 5-51.

Sussex, who had a first-innings lead of 74, increased that to 283 by stumps as they closed on 209-3.

Wells (91 not out) has so far hit 12 fours and one six in his four hours at the crease, while Ed Joyce made 47.

Northants head coach David Ripley:

"Last day of the season is always an emotional one with players leaving, so I just hope the players go out there and play some good cricket.

"There's been lots of times when we've been down in the dumps having not played well.

"It'd be nice for the members and the players to sit down with a beer at the end, knowing that we've finished well."

Sussex bowler Steve Magoffin:

"It's a pretty dead track to be honest.

"It's not easy for batsmen to bat on and it's certainly not easy for bowlers to feel as if they're ever likely to get a wicket.

"You've got a bit of chance with the new ball but once 20 overs come off, it's a hard slog."

BBC Radio Northampton's Chris Egerton:

"This was a day in which the cricket meandered rather than rattled along, with Sussex wrapping up the remaining three wickets from the Northants innings inside the first 90 minutes of the day.

"Already-relegated Northants couldn't find a way through the Sussex middle order, though Rob Keogh's spell of 14 overs of off-spin offered a positive light for next season.

"With only a defeat preventing Sussex from finishing third in the table, the home side bowled as much for containment as penetration.

"With victory unlikely, it seems set that Northants will finish with the lowest points total in the history of Division One."

BBC Sussex's Adrian Harms:

"The bad light that descended on Northampton - bringing the loss of the final eight overs of the day - may have ended any chance of a result in this game.

"That being said, Sussex will be in no mood to surrender their advantage in this match and offer Northants a challenging declaration.

"They have a lead of 283 and provided they don't lose, will finish third in the table and claim the £88,000 players' prize money.

"A slow lifeless wicket is likely to be the winner, making it all the more remarkable that Steve Magoffin claimed another five wickets, take his total to 72 for the season."