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Alex Hughes stars on first-class debut

AlexHughesAcademy graduate Alex Hughes enjoyed a dream first-class debut claiming three wickets to help dismiss Sussex for 314 on the opening day at Hove.

Alex Hughes (3-49) produced an inspired spell of bowling in the afternoon session, securing two wickets within three balls at one stage, to restrict the Sussex batsman on Day One. 

Matt Higginbottom (1-69) - who was making his first Championship appearance - picked up his maiden wicket in his opening spell, while Wayne Madsen (2-9) claimed two wickets and Tim Groenewald (3-74) picked up three late in the day.

Luke Wells was the stand out performer for the home side, completing an excellent 238-ball century, before Chris Jordan added 48 to leave the LV= County Championship match finely poised at stumps.

After winning the toss, Derbyshire prized two wickets in a tight morning session courtesy of debutants Higginbottom and Alex Hughes. It was paceman Higginbottom who struck first, forcing an error out of Chris Nash who was well caught by Shivnarine Chanderpaul at slip for 20.

New man Michael Yardy was soon following his team-mate back to the pavilion, as the former England man became Alex Hughes’ first victim in first-class cricket, slicing his attempted drive to Ben Slater at backward point for 12.

Restarting after lunch on 73-2, Sussex quickly lost their third wicket as Mark Footitt, who had bowled well in the opening session without reward, had Ed Joyce caught behind by Tom Poynton for 22.

It was, however, the spell form Alex Hughes that put the hosts on top during the afternoon session. The 21-year-old clean bowled Rory Hamilton-Brown for 11, before dismissing Luke Wright caught and bowled for a duck two balls later. Madsen had Brown caught at mid-on shortly after to leave the hosts on 190-6 at the tea break.

The skipper picked up his second wicket shortly after the restart, finding a thick edge from Wells who was caught by Groenewald at mid-on for an excellent 110.

A stubborn 59-run partnership between Jordan and Steve Magoffin frustrated the Derbyshire bowlers during the final hour of play, but Groenewald broke the flourishing partnership shortly after the score passed 300.

Groenewald swiftly removed Magoffin (32), Jordan (48) and Lewis Hatchett (0) in quick succession to bowl Sussex out for 314 with just two overs remaining in the day. Derbyshire will begin their reply on Day Two, starting at 11am. 

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