Will Beer is hoping his heroics at Lord’s will lead to an extended run in the Sussex side.
In what was his first County Championship match of the year, the Horsham leg spinner played a crucial role as the side pulled off an unlikely draw on the final day at Middlesex.
Going into the Saturday, things looked far from promising resuming on 228-4, still 49 short of the hosts’ first innings score.
Batting at nine, Beer’s mature 39 from 104 balls provided the perfect foil to some Luke Wright brilliance. They made a crucial century stand and Wright went on to smash 187 as Sussex set Middlesex an insurmountable 177 to make up from the final 20 overs.
Beer, who also took 3-89 and scored 25 in Sussex’s first innings, said: “I was just thrilled to be playing to be honest because I hadn’t featured for Sussex this season and there’s no better place to play cricket then Lord’s. I came into a side full of confidence and playing well so to play my part in saving the draw was very pleasing.
“Lord’s is a pretty flat wicket these days and not really suited to spin so I was chuffed to take three wickets. I’ve been working hard on my batting as well and when I came in I tried to have the mentality of a batsman, and having someone as experienced as Wrighty to guide me was brilliant.”
Beer’s pre-season preparations could hardly have been worse. He ruptured ligaments in his right foot in boxing training over the winter and an injury that was supposed to last for six weeks carried over for three months and into the new season.
At the age of 24, Beer has been around the Sussex set up for some years, featuring mostly in Second XI and in one-day games. The Middlesex game was only his third in the County Championship and sixth first-class match, but having returned to full fitness and seized his first opportunity of the season with both hands he insisted: “I don’t want to look too far ahead at this moment, I just want to play as much cricket as I can in the one-days and County Championship and see where it takes me.
“I’m in the squad for the four-day game at Arundel (against Surrey, which started yesterday) so hopefully I’ll be picked and do well.
“My mission over the winter was to improve my red-ball cricket, get better at both bowling and batting and hopefully I’ve shown in the last performance I can contribute to Sussex in all forms of the game. As a professional cricketer that’s what you have to do these days and if I get picked and keep playing well hopefully it’ll lead to a run in the side.”