Roderick frustrates Sussex as Arundel visit ends in draw

A good crowd watches the first day of the Arundel clash / Picture by Kate Shemilt
A good crowd watches the first day of the Arundel clash / Picture by Kate Shemilt

Gloucestershire’s Gareth Roderick ended a three-year wait for a Specsavers County Championship century as his side drew their Division Two match with Sussex at Arundel.

The 27-year-old South African made 158 – his first hundred outside Gloucestershire since 2013 – and Ryan Higgins weighed in with a career-best 119 not out as their side made 444 for 6 declared in reply to Sussex’s 351 for 8 declared before the teams shook hands at 4.50pm. Both sides take 10 points and Sussex remain third in the table with Gloucestershire fifth.

With more than five sessions lost to rain over the four days and the pitch offering little pace or carry, the final day was always destined to be a battle for bonus points but Roderick and Higgins accelerated during the afternoon session to add 136 in 27 overs and ensure Gloucestershire collected a fourth batting point.

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Jason Gillespie, Sussex Head Coach, said: "The surface was quite benign and there was not much in it for the bowlers. If you bowled with good discipline with a ring field it was hard at times to score freely because the pitch was so slow. A draw was always the likely result.

"Our attitude throughout were really good. We gave Will Beer a chance at the top of the order and the way he applied himself was excellent. I thought our seam bowlers bowled quite nicely. Ollie (Robinson) got some wickets and I thought Chris Jordan was better than we have seen in the last couple of games. So there are certainly some positives.

My 10oz steak couldn't stop me seeing off Middlesex
"We go to Worcestershire now and we know they are a very good side. There has been a lot of rain about so hopefully we can get a game in."

Roderick, 51 not out overnight, made steady progress towards his sixth first-class hundred, which he reached with an on-drive off Chris Jordan shortly after lunch that brought him his 11th boundary.

He pressed the accelerator thereafter, making his next 50 runs off just 44 balls before departing to Ollie Robinson when he was caught behind driving at a ball outside off stump he might have left alone. Roderick had batted for five hours 23 minutes, faced 286 balls and hit 15 fours and a six.

Higgins had scored 103 against Glamorgan at Newport earlier this month and batted positively throughout, although he should have been dismissed on 26 when the normally reliable Chris Jordan put him down at slip off Danny Briggs.

The 24-year-old reached the third hundred of his career after tea by driving part-time seamer Laurie Evans to the extra cover boundary for the ninth of his 11 boundaries and he also hit two sixes. He faced 147 balls.

Sussex employed ten bowlers during the day with Robinson even sending down a couple of overs of off breaks and Wells switching from leg spin to seam-up to send down the last over of the match with Danny Briggs keeping wicket.

But their attack took just three wickets in the day, two of them by Robinson, who now has 24 for the season and is Sussex’s leading wicket-taker despite only playing in four of their six games because of a shoulder injury.

Robinson had struck with his second delivery with the second new ball when Jack Taylor (9) was bowled pushing forward just before lunch.

Roderick put on 74 for the fourth wicket during the morning session with Benny Howell, who was leg before half-forward to leg-spinner Will Beer for 29.