Cricket festival is still a success despite wet weather

The crowd enjoy the cricket on Sunday. Picture: Kevin Shaw
The crowd enjoy the cricket on Sunday. Picture: Kevin Shaw

Friends of Arundel Castle Cricket Club executive secretary James Rufey admitted the Sussex Festival week was brought to an ideal end on Sunday.

Bad weather meant each day of the County Championship Division 2 match with Northamptonshire was interrupted and the match ended in a draw.

Spectators gather for Sussex's Sunday Natwest T20 Blast clash at Arundel.

Spectators gather for Sussex's Sunday Natwest T20 Blast clash at Arundel.

Chris Nash top-scored with 75 as Sussex were all out for 178 in their first innings.

Northamptonshire declared on 478-5 in their reply as Adam Rossington struck 138 not out from 121 balls. Rob Keogh (75), Ben Duckett (72), David Murphy (60 not out) and Sean Terry (54) all posted half-centuries.

Sussex were 145-2 from 57.5 overs in their second innings when play came to an end. Ed Joyce hit 60 and Nash scored his second half-century of the match, with 53.

Sunday’s showpiece NatWest T20 Blast meeting with Gloucestershire was fortunately not affected by any rain delays.

Ross Taylor in action against Gloucestershire on Sunday. Picture: Kevin Shaw

Ross Taylor in action against Gloucestershire on Sunday. Picture: Kevin Shaw

In front of around 6,000 fans, Sussex fell 11 runs short as they finished on 173-9 in reply to Gloucestershire’s 184-4.

However, despite that defeat Rufey believes Sunday’s T20 game was a fine way to end a tricky week weather-wise. He said: “It went very well operationally and then obviously finished with a great success on the Sunday.

“The weather played its part on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday which we can’t help but for the T20 game we had a good crowd and saw some really good cricket.

“It was a tough week weather-wise but we are always prepared for that. We are very appropriately staffed for that but Sunday was a real shining light for us and is reward for all of the hard-work from ourselves here at Arundel, along with Sussex.

Action from Sunday's T20 Blast encounter at Arundel Castle

Action from Sunday's T20 Blast encounter at Arundel Castle

“We are the only outground this season so it’s been quite a unique week. I know Sussex will be playing at Eastbourne next year, which is a great thing, but with us being the only one at present we try our best to put on a good show and you only have to look at how well the T20 game was supported to see that success.”

Despite not managing to pick up a victory in either game at Arundel, Sussex head coach Mark Davis believes the turnout of fans made it a success.

He said: “Full marks to everyone that comes to Arundel, it’s a great place to come and watch cricket.

“The groundstaff also deserve great credit for producing a really good wicket, for a little while there was a worry whether it would be dry enough but there were no problems.

Action from Sussex's County Championship clash with Northants at Arundel Castle

Action from Sussex's County Championship clash with Northants at Arundel Castle

“I would say it’s one of the best we’ve played on in one-day cricket this year and having so many fans come out was great for us as well.

“It’s obviously a fantastic place to come and play, it’s a little bit like an away ground having quite a way to travel each day so that can be tough but to play in front of a crowd like the one we had and to take cricket to outgrounds is very important to us.”

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