Sussex u17 Boys reach County Championship final

Sussex will play Northamptonshire in the final of the Specsavers ECB Under-17 County Championship next week.

Wednesday, 23rd August 2017, 1:19 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 5:10 am
Nick Oxley made 185 in Sussex's first innings of the semi-final against Somerset. Picture by Colin Bowman
Nick Oxley made 185 in Sussex's first innings of the semi-final against Somerset. Picture by Colin Bowman

The three-day match will take place between Tuesday 29th and Thursday 31st August at Arundel Castle Cricket Ground, with play starting at 11am on each day.

Having topped the London & South East division, Sussex were dominant in their semi-final against Somerset at The Blackstone Academy Ground sponsored by Hurstpierpoint College last week.

Although the weather prevented an outright win, Sussex qualified for the final as a result of a far-superior first innings performance.

Captain, Nick Oxley, scored 185 from just 194 balls as Sussex racked up 574-8 from their 104 overs. Joe Bilings, Tom Clark, Nick Smith, Ben Twine and Jack Carson all contributed with fifties.

In reply, Somerset were bowled out for just 234 as opening bowler Nick Smith took 6-54.

Sussex then batted again, with Bilings falling just short of a hundred and Tom Clark picking up his second half-century of the match.

Having declared at 201-4 at the close of day two and set Somerset an improbable 542 to win, Sussex reduced their opponents to 142-8 on a rain-reduced day three.

Speaking ahead of next week’s final, Academy Director, Carl Hopkinson said: “the Under-17s have played consistently all year and fully deserve their spot in the final next week.

“We had a convincing 1st innings win over Somerset last week and if it wasn't for the weather we would have won out right.

“One of the most pleasing things for the coaching staff is that we have had batters and bowlers really develop and improve throughout the season. Elements of their game that they strived to improve on from last year you can clearly see working and performing in the middle.

“The group have had real fun throughout the summer and some of them have played together from a young age which is vital for the future success of Sussex CCC. To have a core of home grown players is what Sussex has always been about and that's what we need to develop.”

Please note that as a result of the Under-17 boys qualifying for the County Championship final, the Academy match that was scheduled to take place at The 1st Central County Ground on Tuesday 29th August has been cancelled.