Salt and Wells go basically ball for ball, run for run. When they both look within touching distance of half centuries, Salt miscues a forward defensive and is out for 45, caught Horton, bowled Lilley. 96-1.
Wells does get over the line but, on 52, he emulates his opening partner and is gone, pouched by Harry Dearden, bowled by Cotton. 104-2.
At lunch, Finch and Evans have shored things up again and we’re 155-2.
That pair also go run by run with each other.
This time it’s Finch who goes, bowled by Gavin Griffiths for 35. 168-3.
We’re still 330 runs behind but it’s hardly panic stations.
But who is this coming to the wicket?
Oh joy – oh rapture.
It’s Ravi Bopara.
Laurie Evans decides that 37 is enough and allows himself to be bowled by Cotton. I’ve no idea how or why. 181-4.
I sit in the coaching area at Grace Road and watch the innings. ‘Boy, Bopara is playing responsibly…’ is a thought that just teeters and flirts with going across my brain.
I banish the scintilla of a whisp of an idea before it’s too la-
He’s caught at mid off by Azad off Griffiths for 15. 199-5
Hello, Creek? Meet Paddle.
In the same over Wiese survives an lbw shout, the likes of which I’d be tearing the stump out of the ground and threatening the umpire with being turned into a human popsicle for.
But not for long. Come 15:20, Wiese is given the trotting finger for 8 and we’re 212-6.
Somewhat unexpectedly, Stuart Meaker, of all people, and Ben Brown form a decent partnership. However, it doesn’t take too long for the fast bowler to smack one back to Cotton for a routine caught and bowled. 247-7.
We still need 102 to avoid the follow on.
Brown and Mitchell Claydon also form a partnership.
When the tale of this season is told, Brown’s average of 45.91 and his sheparding of the tail will be one of the best recounted.
The keeper gets to 50, off 82 balls, but he falls seven balls later, caught Griffiths, bowled Klein. 286-8.
Garton. Stumped. For 1. 287-9.
On the grounds that every run counts – still over 60 away from saving the follow on – I put Will Beer and Claydon’s aggression up. Beer is bowled by Lilley for 5. We’re all out for 300 on the nose.
We’re in an interesting position here: there’s an hour left of play in day three. Leicestershire might well enforce the follow on, but we could almost certainly stretch this out to day four and then the draw is on…
They ask us to follow on.
Sussex’s Second Innings
I edge Wells and Salt’s aggression down to be more defensive. If we can see out the day…
Salt goes absolutely doolally. He races to 27 off 19 ball. I’m both impressed and raging.
He does then settle down to allow the time to pass, and is 32 off 34 when Griffiths has a razor edged lbw chance turned down.
We end day three 83 for no loss, Salt on 55 – suicidal nicked single to bring it up notwithstanding – and Wells on 24.
We’ve survived into the last day. Leicestershire “only” lead by 115.