Sussex at last relocated their batting form as they posted a commanding 280 for three on the opening day of their LV=County Championship match against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
Chris Nash’s first century of the season (an unbeaten 112 from 186 balls) with good support principally from Luke Wells (68 from 155 balls) underpinned a strong day’s work from a side which began the day with the joint-fewest batting points in either division - just 12 from eight matches.
Having lost five of their last six championship matches, Ed Joyce’s side needed to hit back and they did against a Warwickshire attack hampered by a slow pitch and the absence of spearhead Keith Barker, sidelined for at least a month by a calf strain.
Sussex capitalised upon winning what looks an important toss. The pitch is expected to turn judging by each side selecting three spinners including a debutant.
Josh Poysden, having impressed in limited-overs cricket, is making his championship bow for Warwickshire while former Derbyshire off-spinner Peter Burgoyne earned his Sussex debut with match figures of ten for 89 for the 2nd XI against Gloucestershire at Eastbourne last week.
Warwickshire turned to spin as soon as the ninth over but Sussex lost only one wicket in the morning and that to a seamer when Ed Joyce (30 from 44 balls) was caught at gully off Boyd Rankin.
Matt Machan fell soon after lunch when he became Sussex-born leg-spinner Poysden’s first championship victim. Lured into lifting a drive, Machan was superbly caught by Chris Wright at mid-off. Poysden’s bowling showed considerable promise all day, even though overbowled late on by captain Varun Chopra.
Wells and Nash added 66 for the third wicket before the former perished, after 216 minutes resistance, to a rare loose shot. He top-edged a pull at Wright and Rikki Clarke safely pouched the skier.
Again Warwickshire could not follow up the strike though as partnerships of 46, 51 and 66 were followed by an unbroken fourth-wicket alliance of 117 between Nash and Luke Wright who was the epitome of watchfulness on his way to 43 from 124 balls at stumps.
Sussex will aim to pile up runs today while Warwickshire ponder the blow of losing Barker who joins fellow seamers Richard Jones (out for another month at least with a toe injury) and Chris Woakes (still in rehab after knee surgery) on the injury list - with champions Yorkshire due to visit Edgbaston next week.
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