County Championship: Colin Ackermann century gives Leicestershire hope of beating Sussex

Leicestershire's Colin Ackermann unleashes a cover drive
Colin Ackermann has now scored more than 950 runs in this season's County Championship

LV=County Championship Division Two, The 1st Central County Ground, Hove (day three):

Sussex 262 & 344-9 dec: Clark 69, Coles 63; Scriven 4-55, Ahmed 2-91

Leicestershire 108 & 221-3: Ackermann 103*, Amin 61*; Karvelas 2-21

Leicestershire (3 pts) need another 278 to beat Sussex (4 pts) with five wickets remaining


An unbeaten century from Colin Ackermann kept Leicestershire in the hunt for an unlikely victory that would reignite their promotion challenge in the County Championship.

Ackermann was 103 not out at stumps on day three at Hove with his side on 221-3 and requiring a further 278 to beat Sussex.

The Hove pitch has certainly flattened out after 20 wickets fell in the first four sessions and Leicestershire were scuttled out for 108 in their first innings.

But it would still be a considerable achievement were the Foxes to deny Sussex a win that would kick-start their own promotion bid. The new ball, due after 16 overs on the final day, will be crucial in shaping the outcome.

Leicestershire will take encouragement from the fact that they chased 389 to beat Yorkshire at the start of the season while Sussex know all too well how much Ackermann loves batting at the County Ground, where he made an unbeaten 277 last season.

They had declared their second innings on 344-9 in the over after lunch - setting a target of 499 - and soon made inroads into the Leicestershire top order.

Indian left-armer Jaydev Unadkat pinned Sol Budinger in the fifth over and Ari Karvelas had skipper Lewis Hill smartly taken low down at third slip by Tom Clark in the eighth over to leave the Foxes on 16-2.

But Rishi Patel and Ackermann joined forces to put on 92 in 21 overs with few alarms.

Karvelas had made a crucial breakthrough when Patel miscued a drive to mid-off and Cheteshwar Pujara took a good tumbling catch but that was the last success Sussex enjoyed in the day as Pakistan left-hander Umar Amin joined Ackermann in a stand so far worth 113.

Ackermann, who is joining Durham at the end of the season, reached his third hundred of the summer with a single off James Coles and so far he has faced 155 balls, hitting 16 fours.

Before the close Henry Crocombe was bowling short to four fielders stationed within 20 yards of each other short on the leg side but Amin relished the battle, reaching his first fifty for the county he has joined for the last four Championship games of the season.

Ackermann, meanwhile, needs another 48 runs to reach 1,000 runs for the season - Patel having got to the milestone when he top scored with 48 in Leicestershire's first innings.

Earlier, Sussex added 90 runs before their declaration and with time on their side there was never any need to take undue risks before setting such a massive target.

James Coles reached his fourth fifty of the season with a six over long-on off Rehan Ahmed, adding 58 with Fynn Hudson-Prentice before becoming one of two victims for the persevering Tom Scriven, who finished with 4 for 55.

Report supplied by ECB Reporters' Network.