Big Mitch Claydon, late on a long day, dived to turn a boundary into a single and then turned to wave at the appreciative, slightly surprised, crowd.

He loved it. They loved it. No one expected it.

It has been that sort of contest for a Sussex side which can best be described as “makeshift”.

They have been responding to the need to do a bit more than might normally be expected.

The county have at least 11 men missing for this LV= Insurance County Championship fixture.

Eight are self-isolating after Tom Clark tested positive for Covid-19.

Chris Jordan has a groin problem, Phil Salt has been playing with a broken finger and George Garton was called away by England.

Claydon, the 37-year-old who recently announced he would retire at the end of the season, has come back into a mainly youthful side.

Twenty20 spinner Will Beer is also part of the attack and 16-year-old Dan Ibrahim, the only half-century-maker in this contest after two days, has also had a chance with the ball.

Sussex and their associated players have not had to look for their problems this summer – as the sight of Jofra Archer training at the ground during his prolonged injury absence underlined.

But full credit to the XI who have so far matched an admittedly fairly ordinary Glamorgan outfit.

It was not perfect. Teenagers Oli Carter and Jack Carson looked crestfallen as they put down catches.

But Sussex have kept themselves in the match at the halfway mark.

Now can they do what they have failed to do at times this season and sustain that performance over four innings and four days?

Ibrahim, already the youngest player to ever make a maiden half-century in the history of the Championship, may well now be the youngest to make his second.

Claydon and Stuart Meaker helped the last two wickets add 63.

Meaker than had Joe Cooke trapped in front and Claydon saw Colin Ingram caught behind to leave Glamorgan on 28-2.

From then on, it was a case of several Glamorgan batsmen getting starts.

And the Sussex attack holding their nerve to get them out.

Claydon, Meaker and spinners Carson and Beer took two wickets apiece.

Stiaan Van Zyl’s first victim of the season was the dangerous Billy Root.

Aaron Thomason produced a fine catch at second slip to help Claydon remove Kiran Carlson.

And Carter held a slip chance to remove Dan Douthwaite off Beer.

Rain had the final say – of course it did – with Glamorgan nine down but we appear to have a game on our hands.

Claydon said: “I think we are in a good position.

“When we were bowled out this morning we would definitely have taken them being nine down at the close.

“It was a great effort and, if rain doesn’t have too much of a say, I think there will be a result and both sides are in with a chance.

“If we can bat well in the second innings, I can see that wicket spinning and our spinners definitely coming into it on day four.”

As has been the case even on even the toughest days, there was sunshine in the form of the Sussex talent coming through.


Claydon added: “Young Dan Ibrahim is so calm and composed at the crease, it’s incredible really for a 16-year-old.

“He played some lovely cricket shots and spent a lot of time at the crease.

“He is one of some very exciting young cricketers that we have at the club.”

Are Sussex asking too much of the kids? 

At the moment, in these circumstances, they are asking what they have to ask.

The response has been good - from the young and young at heart.