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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Durham v Sussex: Luke Wells ton guides visitors to tight win

The Sussex coach, Mark Robinson, sang the praises of Luke Wells after the young batsman guided his team towards a nerve-jangling victory against Durham with the first first-class century of his fledgling career.
Robinson paid homage to Wells, 20, after he rode his luck to record the game’s decisive innings, scoring a century that included 17 fours in 243 balls before being dismissed with the victory target in sight for Sussex.
Wells may have been dropped by Gareth Breese off Mitch Claydon’s third ball of day and he may have been fortunate that a few edges did not go to hand as he lived a charmed life but Robinson played down the role of Lady Luck.
“He might have rode his luck this morning but he definitely didn’t on Friday but then again this was a good cricket wicket and there was a lot of playing and missing so you needed a bit of luck,” Robinson told The Sunday Telegraph.
“One thing we have recognised in Luke is that he has got a lot of character, mental toughness and resilience for a young man. He is only a baby and he has had one massive injury last year that would have knocked a lot of people back but he came back strongly and got a ton in his first game back with the seconds.

“That’s because he has such a strong personality which is what we like as much as anything and he showed every bit of it here because he would have copped a few verbals for the way he was playing at times but eh just stuck to his task and he is the only player who showed that determination to stay put.”
Luke Wells hit his maiden first-class century as Sussex survived a late collapse to seal a two-wicket LV= County Championship victory over Division One opponents Durham at the Riverside.
Sussex resumed on the fourth morning on 237 for four and with Wells and Ben Brown ticking along they reached 277 before Brown (61) became the first of the four victims Ruel Braithwaite claimed in quick succession as four wickets tumbled for 17 runs.
Wells reached 103 before Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Joe Anyon were dismissed in the same over only for Amjad Khan and Andy Hodd to secure a pulsating victory.
“To go down to the wire like that meant it was a great game of cricket but I think the team showed a lot of character because we were well beaten at Liverpool by Lancashire and we have been on the back foot for most of this game,” Robinson added.
“To turn it around with three young batters in the top six means you feel very proud as a coach. They were lovely bowling conditions today and Durham bowled exceptionally well all morning and we had to fight hard but we held our nerve. Ben Brown and Luke put us into a winning position and to get over the line was fantastic.”
Durham coach Geoff Cook added: “It was a tough four days’ cricket. We were in a strong position midway through the first day at 170/1 but then lost nine wickets for about 120 which is asking for trouble. Then we lost five second innings wickets very quickly which put Sussex tails up.”

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