Sussex's annual visit to Arundel hailed a success

Sussex brought another successful annual festival week at Arundel Castle to a close on Sunday with a 18-run Natwest T20 Blast defeat to Glamorgan.

South African Stiaan van Zyl smashed 166 in the second innings of Sussex's four-day game at Arundel Castle. Picture by Steve Robards SR1716104
South African Stiaan van Zyl smashed 166 in the second innings of Sussex's four-day game at Arundel Castle. Picture by Steve Robards SR1716104

South African Colin Ingram smashed the fastest century by a player from the Welsh county in this particular format of the game as they amassed 198-3 off their 20 overs and sent Sussex to defeat in their opening match in this year’s competition.

Ingram, who chalked up his ton off only 44 balls, ended the innings unbeaten on 101, while fellow South African Jacques Rudolph smashed a quickfire 49 to help them post an imposing total.

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Sussex’s Luke Wright also crashed a century – making 101 – but his efforts proved in vain as his side could only reach 180-6 off their allotted overs – falling 18 runs short.

Luke Wright's century could not propel Sussex to a Natwest T20 Blast win over Glamorgan on Sunday. Picture by Steve Robards SR1716098

In excess of 4,500 tickets had been sold for the fixture, which followed Sussex’s County Championship Division 2 win over Leicestershire at the same ground.

Stiaan van Zyl smashed an unbeaten 166 in Sussex’s second innings as they set the visitors 425 to win.

Jofra Archer claimed figures of 4-30, proving crucial to skittle Leicestershire out for 193 in their second innings – earning Sussex a 231-run win.

The centurion in the T20 game, Wright, was frustrated with how things ended in this year’s festival but was pleased to play at the scenic venue yet again in 2017.

Sussex four-day skipper Ben Brown batting against Leicestershire at Arundel Castle last week. Picture by Steve Robards SR1716163

He said: “It’s a beautiful place and I think all the squad always enjoy playing here.

“Arundel hasn’t been too kind to us in terms of wins, especially in the T20 form of the game, so from that side of it it has been a little tough and we must improve.

“In terms of the week as a whole, it’s one of the best grounds in the country.

“We had a great Championship win over Leicestershire – it was just a shame we couldn’t follow that up with another one in the T20 to cap off the week.

“It can actually be a tough week in terms of travel for us as players.

“I know it sounds funny, but sometimes it can feel like more of a home game to the opposition rather than us.

“The teams that face us stay just over ten minutes away, whereas our guys are looking at a trip of more than an hour.

“When you get here it is worth the travel, it’s a stunning ground, great crowds come in and it is a beautiful place to play cricket.”

Precise attendance numbers are not yet known for either the four-day or T20 match but it is thought there were close to 6,000 in for Sunday’s Natwest T20 Blast encounter.

Supporters have been spoiled in terms of fixtures so far this season at Arundel Castle with Sussex’s festival week following two international teams visiting the venue earlier in the summer.

Bangladesh took on a Duke of Norfolk’s XI to kick off the summer at Arundel before Sussex took on South Africa A in a four-day match less than a month prior to the festival visit.

Arundel Castle Cricket executive secretary James Rufey was impressed with attendances for the annual festival this year yet again.

He said: “It proved a success once again. The crowds were good and the ground looked absolutely fantastic.

“I’m not 100 per cent sure of the attendance but the word is 6,000 for Sunday alone, which is very pleasing indeed. When the banks start to fill that gives a good indication of an impressive crowd.

“Sussex did a good job and finished the four-day game off really well. It was great to see so many runs scored in the T20 game on Sunday, just slightly disappointing to see Sussex fall just short in the end.

“We worked really hard over the winter months to produce the fixture list that we have for this particular summer. The rewards are now coming with Bangladesh, South Africa A and the festival week all being well attended and enjoyed by people of all ages.”

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