SUSSEX County Cricket Club’s left-arm seamer Lewis Hatchett admitted it was a good experience to test himself against Australia in the tour match at Hove over the weekend.
Hatchett, 23, from Upper Beeding, took two wickets in each innings in the drawn match which took place from Friday to Sunday. He dismissed opening batsmen Ed Cowan and Phil Hughes in the first innings, before removing Usman Khawaja and Hughes, again, in the second innings.
Worthing Cricket Club’s Matt Machan was also part of the Sussex team as Australia fielded a strong batting line-up, with their batsmen looking to find some form at the crease ahead of the third Ashes Test, which begins today.
Hatchett said: “It was a good experience and good to get out there and play, especially as I’d taken a bit of tap in the t20’s recently.
“It was good to get the red ball back in my hands as they had a pretty strong top five, who were all looking to get in the runs.
“We knew that they wouldn’t be taking it lightly and would want to perform, so knew it would be a good contest.
“We said before that we were the home team and that we didn’t want them to come in and walk all over us, so it was important to put in a good performance.”
On the wickets he took, Hatchett said: “I got both of the left-handed openers in the first innings and I’ve been bowling well at left-handers.
“It felt good, especially as I’d been working on a few technical things, so it was nice to get some reward for it.”
After winning the toss, Australia posted 366-5 declared from 94.4 overs. Steve Smith top-scored with 102 not out and Hughes and Cowan both hit half-centuries.
Sussex replied with 368-7 off 100 overs as Nottinghamshire’s James Taylor, who played for Sussex after a request from the England management team, struck 121 not out and Rory Hamilton-Brown scored 73 off just 51 balls. Machan scored 16 as he put on 46 for the fifth wicket with Taylor.
Australia’s second innings ended after 44 overs with the tourists 152-2 and Cowan 77 not out as the captains shook hands on the draw.
Hatchett, whose contract runs out at the end of the year, is now hoping to add to his one County Championship appearance so far this season and said: “Hopefully, I’ll get a couple more appearances in the four-day format this year.
“We’re pushing for the title and that’s pretty much what our focus is on now as we’ve got a very good chance of winning it.
“I’m hoping to stay in the Pro40 team as well and get some more games with the white ball.”
Hatchett has played in two t20 games recently – bowling three overs, which have gone for 55 runs – and he said: “It’s all a learning curve. I’ve had a tough time but it’s no different to a batsman going in and getting two low scores.
“I’ve bowled at tough times in the games – the first over in one game, in the top six in another and the last over as Robbo (Mark Robinson, coach) wants to put me under pressure as it will be beneficial later in my career.”