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Chris Jordan finds wicket-taking form but Somerset maintain 100% record

Chris Jordan celebrates a wicket Getty Images

Somerset 283 for 8 (Hildreth 81, Azhar 68, Gregory 50) beat Sussex 62 for 4 by 68 runs (DLS method)

Chris Jordan said before the start of the season he was keen to show what he could do with the bat and for a while it looked like he might get his chance - until the rain set in.

With Sussex in dire trouble at 48 for 4 chasing 284 to beat Somerset at Hove, England World Cup hopeful Jordan was the next man due in. However, by the time the forecast showers arrived - right on schedule at 4pm - the hosts were 62 for 4 from 16.3 overs and, just as the covers were removed for the resumption after a delay of an hour and 45 minutes, the heaviest rain of the day made itself at home for the evening.

Play was abandoned with Sussex well shy of the revised target of 131 and Somerset winning by 68 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method to make it three wins from as many matches.

Jordan, who had gone wicketless in the first two Royal London Cup matches of the season and made 26 runs in his only batting appearance - against Surrey on Good Friday - made a welcome return to form with the ball against Somerset.

It was perhaps a timely boost in his last match for Sussex before joining the England one-day squad for the upcoming matches against Ireland and Pakistan, where he has a chance to change the selectors' minds after missing the preliminary World Cup squad.

Jordan took 2 for 42 off eight overs to curb the damage caused by James Hildreth (81 off 92 balls) and Lewis Gregory (50 off 28). But it was in a losing cause after the Sussex top order capitulated in the face of two excellent catches from Craig Overton, who also dismissed danger man Phil Salt lbw.

With the threat of rain looming, Sussex won the toss and sent Somerset in to bat, preferring to chase should DLS come into play later. Stiaan van Zyl entered the Sussex side as a replacement for Luke Wright, a late withdrawal because of a stomach bug, while George Bartlett came in for Dom Bess as Somerset opted for an extra batsman in the conditions.

Despite a return to wintery temperatures after a short stretch of glorious spring weather, the match was well attended by an appreciative crowd, their cheerful enthusiasm belying closed body language as they huddled from the cold with arms and legs firmly crossed in unison.

The Sussex bowlers kept the visitors reasonably well contained with a total below 250 looking likely, but some smart scoring by Hildreth, Tom Abell and particularly Gregory lifted the score to 283 for 8 when Bartlett was run out on the last ball of the innings after a cameo of 19 off nine balls.

The Somerset total looked to be about on par, with Surrey having posted 274 for 9 on same pitch last week and Sussex successfully chasing down the target in the penultimate over to win by two wickets.

But a woeful start to the Sussex pursuit turned things around very quickly.

Salt, who scored a towering 137 not out off 106 balls against Kent on Easter Sunday, started ominously by pulling Josh Davey's first ball to the boundary. But his stay was short-lived when the hulking Overton trapped him lbw for just 7 in the second over.

Van Zyl received a second life when, on just 4, he was put down at slip off Overton's bowling, but he too lasted only a short while longer after cracking Davey to midwicket where Overton took a brilliant catch diving to his left.

When Harry Finch was bowled by Gregory, Laurie Evans was shaping up to steady the innings until he hit Tim Groenewald towards deep backward square leg and Overton pulled off his second impressive catch of the innings.

Jordan was pleased to be among the wicket-takers, and was confident his team would move on quickly from the result, after opening the season with two wins.

"Maybe all being even and there not being rain about, maybe it goes a little bit different but that's life and we've got to take it on the chin," Jordan said. "On a personal level, I've not been up to the standard I'd like to be and that's just being brutally honest.

"I had a decent game against Surrey with ball and bat without getting any wickets but then it didn't quite come together against Kent but that can happen at times in cricket. It's just nice to get a little bit of rhythm today and pick up a couple of wickets."

Azhar Ali knitted the Somerset innings together in the face of some sound bowling from the home side. He and Hildreth put on a century partnership which was broken when Danny Briggs tempted Azhar down the wicket and Sussex captain Ben Brown whipped off the bails for a stumping.

Jordan returned to the attack in the 40th over and struck with the fifth delivery, removing Hildreth who attempted to drive at a short ball and skied a catch to Finch at extra cover.

Abell was eventually caught at short third man by Will Beer off Mir Hamza for 44 and Hamza picked up his third wicket when he had Overton out lbw with a ball that kept low.

Jordan was belted through the covers for four by Gregory, who brought up his half-century with two off the next ball, putting the bowler under pressure as he sought quick runs to finish Somerset's innings. Jordan stood up to the challenge though, and, three balls later sent Gregory's middle stump cartwheeling with a delivery that was full, straight and fast.

When Bartlett was run out via a sharp throw from George Garton, there was a sense the match could be a close one if the weather held out. The rain - and Somerset - had different ideas.

Sussex 2nd innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
1st9S van ZylPD Salt
2nd18LJ EvansS van Zyl
3rd21LJ EvansHZ Finch
4th0LJ EvansBC Brown
5th14D WieseBC Brown