County Championship: Will Beer hits 77 to keep Sussex in charge against Middlesex

Will Beer
Will Beer hit 13 fours and a six in his third County Championship half-century of the season
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, 1st Central County Ground, Hove (day two):
Middlesex 75: Robinson 8-34 & 149-4: Robson 61*; Robinson 2-49
Sussex 309: Beer 77, Wells 62, Carey 56; Roland-Jones 5-70
Middlesex (3 pts) trail Sussex (6 pts) by 85 runs

Spinner Will Beer led a superb Sussex tail-end effort to keep the hosts well in charge on day two against Middlesex.

Starting the day on 126-3, Sussex began badly as Luke Wells (62) and Alex Carey (56) fell to Toby Roland-Jones (5-70).

But Beer (77) shared an eighth-wicket stand of 88 with Ollie Robinson (37) as Sussex recovered from 151-7 to 309.

Robinson, who took a career-best 8-34 to skittle Middlesex for 75 on day one, then struck twice more to reduce their second innings to 149-4 at the close.

Trailing by 85 with just six wickets in hand, Middlesex will need the sort of display from their lower order that the hosts produced on Monday.

Beer scored more than Middlesex's line-up combined in their first innings, hitting 13 fours and a six to shift the game firmly Sussex's way.

There was fine support from debutant Elliot Hooper (20) and Robinson, who both registered milestones later in the afternoon.

Hooper removed Dawid Malan to take his first Championship wicket, while Robinson reached 10 scalps for the match, the England Lions man's fourth 10-wicket match haul.

Middlesex opener Sam Robson remained unbeaten on 61 at the end of play, alongside wicketkeeper John Simpson, who hit a quickfire 30 not out - to give the visitors some hope of avoiding defeat.

Middlesex fast bowler Toby Roland Jones told BBC Radio London:

"It's nice at this stage of the season to feel really fit and get wickets but obviously it means more if the team situation is better.

"We showed good intent this morning and we got some wickets. But a couple of little partnerships by Sussex took the momentum that away a bit.

We just need to apply ourselves and bat as well as we can. There's still something in the wicket and Sam Robson and John Simpson did well at the end there and hopefully they can build on it."

Sussex debutant Elliot Hooper:

"I was told on Saturday I was going to be playing and it's just very special as a Sussex boy who came through the academy system to be out there playing for Sussex.

"That really means a lot to me. And getting a player like Dawid Malan for my first wicket was a great moment. It helped get us back in control a bit.

"There's a lot of cricket to be played but we're in a good position."

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