Hopkinson ton lights up Hove draw
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Scorecard:Sussex v Australians
Player:MJ North, B Lee, MH Yardy, LJ Wright, CD Hopkinson
Event:Australia in British Isles 2009

DateLine: 28th June 2009


A brilliant century from Carl Hopkinson helped Sussex deny Australia a confidence boosting win at Hove in their first tour game.


Chasing 418 from 92 overs on the final day of the tour match, Sussex kept the Australian bowlers at bay throughout the day to close on 373 for seven.


Their openers Mike Yardy and Chris Nash set them off to a good and aggressive start, adding 87 runs in 24 overs.


Yardy was the more aggressive of the duo and reached his half-century in 55 balls. The knock was studded with 10 boundaries. He though slowed after Nash sliced a drive to backward point off Peter Siddle.


Ricky Ponting was then forced to turn to his spinners and by lunch Nathan Hauritz and Marcus North were bowling together on a dry and turning track.


Part-timer North gave the Australians their second breakthrough when he sent back Yardy (67), edging to Michael Clarke at slip.


Then Ed Joyce and Hopkinson added 56 in 20 overs before Joyce too fell to North in almost identical fashion to Yardy.


Brett Lee dismissed Rory Hamilton-Brown but Hopkinson on the other end kept intact. He reached his half-century with a third six off North.


Luke Wright played in a characteristic fashion, smashing three boundaries off Lee and together with Hopkinson putting on a 13-over stand of 81.


Hopkinson was lucky to have escaped a dropped chance by Ricky Ponting when he was batting on 69 off the bowling of off-spinner Hauritz.


The spinner though took his first wicket to brighten what had been a miserable day for the only specialist slow bowler in the tourists' squad.


Wright was the man to go, unluckily deflecting a ball off his glove and onto leg stump as he attempted to glance the spinner down the leg side.


Hopkinson continued to go after North. The 27-year-old, whose only first-class hundred came last year, was eventually caught behind trying to run a ball from Hilfenhaus down to third man.