Ben Brown has backed Sussex’s overseas batsmen to score runs – and help out their bright youngsters.

The county suffered a fourth defeat in five LV= Insurance County Championship fixtures as they went down to Northants over the weekend.

They were beaten by seven wickets at Hove as the visitors, chasing 218, wrapped up their run chase before lunch yesterday.

Sussex battled hard to get back into the contest on a couple of occasions with the bat but were always struggling after being reduced to 67-8 on the first morning having won the toss.

The contest saw a maiden Hove century for improving opener Tom Haines, his fourth career ton in total.

There was a first first-class 50 for Jack Carson while pace bowler Jamie Atkins looked hostile.

But recent signing Tavis Head scored one and nought and Stiaan Van Zyl, who has made some decent scores this summer, also missed out.

The spotlight is on both men to score big runs for an inexperienced side.

Australian international Head has not got going, with 38 runs in five innings, while Van Zyl was disappointing on this occasion.

Skipper Brown said: “Those boys are working their socks off.

“They are two excellent people around the group.

“Travis has not been in the country. You have to remember these guys are sat in quarantine when they would normally be having pre-season games.

“What has Trav had? Five innings, something like that?

“That would normally be pre-season.

“It’s all credit to the overseas players, coming over and throwing themselves straight into the fire of first-class cricket.

“Trav has been brilliant around the group, as has Stiaan.

“You know with blokes who have records like that, they will score runs.

“Stiaan already has this summer and Trav has got a fantastic record. He has played international cricket for a reason.

“He is a hard worker and he will score runs.”

Sussex looked like they might set a tricky target as Brown supported Haines by closing in on three figures on Saturday afternoon.

But the skipper ran out of partners and was ultimately caught in the deep for 95 going for a big hit tot take him to his century.

The target was not quite what Sussex wanted but they will have been disappointed Northants got there quite so comfortably.


Sussex have spent a fair amount of the last few weeks chasing games.

Brown said: “Clearly we want to get on the front foot in games. We have had a bit of both.

“We have been on the front foot in games and teams have wrestled the momentum back or vice versa.

“I was really pleased to see how we wrestled it back from being eight down in the first innings and the character of the young guys to put on that partnership.

“Then in the third innings we were under pressure and we came back into the game.

“It is something we probably haven’t done well, coming from behind in games.

“We have tended to get behind in games and struggle to get back in it.

“There are positives in there in terms of getting back into games, probably twice you could argue this time, both with the bat.

“We fell away with the ball at the back end of the game but there was certainly that fighting spirit there.”

Scores: Sussex 175 (J J Carson 52, B W Sanderson 5-45) & 298 (T J Haines 103, B C Brown 95, S C Kerrigan 5-70) v Northamptonshire 256 (Saif Zaib 64, G H S Garton 4-69) & 218-3 (R I Keogh 60 no, L Procter 51). Northamptonshire (21pts) beat Sussex (3pts) by 7 wkts.