Sussex teen James Coles puts his side in control against Glamorgan
Steve Smith made the highest score of his short stint with Sussex but the Australian’s 89 was overshadowed by James Coles as the 19-year-old’s maiden first-class hundred helped the hosts establish a whopping 358-run first-innings lead at Hove.
After 14 wickets fell on day one at the County Ground, batting was a lot easier under blue skies and a good crowd saw Coles, who signed a new contract earlier this week, lead the way with 138 against a Sussex total of 481.
Glamorgan’s openers Eddie Byron and Zain ul-Hassan made a confident start after tea, adding 91.
Ollie Robinson had gone wicketless in four overs with the new ball but he returned to the attack and proved a much tougher prospect.
Wicketkeeper Ollie Carter claimed a catch diving in front of first slip when Byron was on 37 and, although umpire Martin Saggers gave him out, the batter was reprieved by his colleague at square leg, who felt Carter had not taken the ball cleanly.
Robinson was eventually rewarded when he had Byron caught at point for 57, leaving Smith’s Australia team-mate Marnus Labuschagne, whom he dismissed for a duck in the first innings, back in his sights.
Labuschagne played watchfully and was 15 not out at the close, with Glamorgan 118 for one, still 240 runs in arrears.
At the start of the day Coles and Smith had extended their fifth-wicket stand to 143 in 40 overs and it was the teenager who batted with greater fluency.
Smith had added a single to his overnight 68 when Timm van der Gugten put down an ankle-high catch at first slip and during the first 55 minutes he added just five runs.
Smith drove a ball from Jamie McIlroy handsomely through the covers for four and it appeared he was getting into the groove. When James Harris pitched short Smith hooked him over backward square for six but two balls later he was out, caught on the crease by a delivery which skidded through.
In three LV= Insurance County Championship innings Smith has been out leg-before on each occasion but he will consider four hours at the crease, without ever looking at his best, valuable preparation for the World Test Championship final and the Ashes.
Coles, who resumed on 50, had a scare on 72 when a ball from Harris hit the base of his off stump without dislodging the bail but otherwise it was relatively plain sailing in benign conditions and he reached his hundred 10 minutes after lunch with a cover-driven boundary off McIlroy.
Carter, with whom he added 57, and Fynn Hudson-Prentice gave him good support.
Carter (28) was caught at first slip off Van der Gugten but Hudson-Prentice helped Coles put on 79 in 16 overs for the seventh wicket before Coles departed to a standing ovation after Harris, who had peppered him with short balls, pinned him with one that was full and straight. His five-hour innings of 223 balls included 21 fours.
Hudson-Prentice thrashed 52 of his 73 runs in boundaries as the lead swelled and, after Glamorgan captain Kiran Carlson picked up a couple of cheap wickets, Robinson enjoyed his battle with Michael Neser, heaving him into the leg side for three successive fours after the Australian paceman had rapped him on the gloves.
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