Lancashire's bowlers have put their side in a promising position at the end of the first day of their LV County Championship match against Sussex at Hove today, with England ace James Anderson and captain Glen Chapple amongst the wickets.
Things did not initially go to plan for the Red Rose, who were invited to field first by Mike Yardy, because Sussex survived the morning session with only one wicket lost despite some incisive bowling from Chapple, Anderson, Sajid Mahmood and Tom Smith.
But the visitors got their reward in the afternoon and early evening by reducing the home side to 160-5, although Lancashire had their day spoilt slightly by an unbroken sixth wicket stand of 87 between Ed Joyce and Robin Martin-Jenkins to take the score to 247-5 from 96 overs at close. Joyce top scored for the hosts on his Championship debut for the club with 89 not out, while Martin-Jenkins will resume tomorrow on 52. Anderson, the 26 year-old, finished with figures of 3-47 from 24 overs, while Chapple claimed 2-56 from 24. [Scorecard]
The skipper said: “I thought that we bowled really well on a fairly placid pitch. There was a period there where we were on top, and we would have liked to nick a couple more out to press home the advantage. They had a good partnership, and we are going to have to come out firing in the morning. At 247-5 they are far from getting away from us.”
Sussex advanced to 69-1 from 29 overs at lunch, although they could quite easily have been two or three wickets down because Mike Yardy, Chris Nash and Joyce were all forced to play and miss a lot.
Anderson grabbed Lancashire’s only wicket - that of Nash, who was superbly caught behind by Luke Sutton for 22. Sutton completed the catch one handed, diving away to his left. Sussex were slightly aggrieved because replays in the player’s dressing rooms apparently show the ball flicked Nash’s back leg.
After lunch it was much the same, with the Sussex pair of Joyce and Yardy stifled by disciplined bowling for the first 19 overs on a pitch that is quite hard and true for this time of year.
Paul Horton copped a nasty gash above his left eye when he was hit by a ball that deflected into him after Tom Smith dropped Joyce, on 32, at second slip off the bowling of Anderson. Horton was off the pitch for over an hour, but returned to find Sussex 132-3 with both Yardy and Murray Goodwin back in the pavilion.
Anderson grabbed his second wicket of the day when he trapped Yardy lbw for 35 off 135 balls, while Chapple snared his first when Ashwell Prince pouched Goodwin at third slip for just 11. The big wicket of the Zimbabwean was Chapple’s first of two in consecutive overs. The second was that of England wicketkeeper Matt Prior, who was caught by the returning Horton at first slip for just four. Sussex were 142-4 in the 60th over.
The home side went into tea at 154-4 from 64 overs, but they were soon five down as Anderson claimed his third, and most impressive wicket of the day. England one-day team-mate Luke Wright (5) got an inside edge onto his pad, with the ball ballooning back down the pitch. Anderson leapt full length to take the return catch just inches off the ground. Sussex were 160-5.
Chapple added: “Jimmy has had a great winter. He has been bowling well on flat Test pitches, and this is a flat pitch. He bowled fantastically for us.
“It is a slow pitch, a war of attrition. The odd ball carried through quite nicely to the keeper, but a few didn’t carry to Luke (Sutton). We had a little bit of swing to work with. We were looking for a little bit of luck here and there at times, but we just didn’t get it.”
Lancashire will return to the field tomorrow looking to break the 26-over alliance between Joyce and Martin-Jenkins, who reached his 50 off 94 balls.
Photo: Rebecca Trbojevich
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd