Nottinghamshire were made to follow-on in their LV= County Championship match against Sussex at Hove after being dismissed for just 145 in their first innings. Second time around they faired much better, reaching 135-2 by the close, still 24 runs short of making their hosts bat again.
To add to Nottinghamshire’s woes both Steven Mullaney and Neil Edwards sustained injuries during the day.
Mullaney, struck in the face, will have his fitness assessed overnight but Edwards will be out of the match – and out of the game for between 4-6 weeks – after fracturing an arm.
“We’ve come back well after a hopeless hour where we dug ourselves into a big hole." Mick Newell
Nottinghamshire director of cricket Mick Newell blamed a haphazard passage of play for his sides’ predicament.
“We’ve come back well after a hopeless hour where we dug ourselves into a big hole,” said Newell.
“Samit Patel and Mark Wagh both batted beautifully to put us into a decent position in this second innings but realistically we need to be still batting by tea-time tomorrow.”
Newell felt that the decision made by Sussex to enforce the follow-on was a tricky one.
“It was a difficult call for them”, he said.
“They obviously feel that they can bowl us out again cheaply but we have to look to make it difficult for them and set a challenging target. If we can set them anything above 200 then Graeme Swann will want to make an impact in the fourth innings of the game.”
Notts found run-scoring difficult during the morning session, when they resumed their overnight first innings. Under cloudy skies, the temperature was much cooler than on the opening day.
The defending champions were plunged into an immediate crisis when Graeme Swann fell to the ninth ball of the day. Looking to hit Rana Naved through the covers, Swann’s uppish drive flew straight to mid-off instead, where Monty Panesar pouched the catch.
The next ten overs yielded only five runs as Sussex applied steady pressure and only gave occasional opportunities for scoring. Sussex felt they’d got rid of Akhil Patel – taken down the legside by Prior – but replays confirmed that it had been a good decision by umpire Richard Kettleborough.
The same official did then end Mark Wagh’s 40 minute vigil by upholding Naved’s lbw appeal against him, to send the batsman back for just 1 and to reduce the visitors to 14-3.
Akhil Patel had played four delightful boundaries in his innings of 24 but then perished in James Anyon’s first over. A tempting delivery outside off stump was edged to Michael Yardy at first slip.
With Naved, Khan and Anyon all helped by the conditions, it took until the 25th over of the innings before the total advanced to 50. Samit Patel and Adam Voges managed to see it through to lunch, to end a session which had only produced 61 runs.
Both batsmen found the boundary rope soon after the re-start, with Naved’s first over back going for ten runs – his eight over spell at the start of the day had only cost 13 in all. In deteriorating light the pair added 20 to the interval score to reach 86-4 but then, at 2pm, the umpires felt that the visibility was so poor, they adjourned to the pavilion.
During the stoppage news broke of Samit Patel’s selection for the England Lions side to play Sri Lanka at Derby next week. Once they returned to the middle, after a 40 minute hold-up, it seemed as if Patel had something to celebrate – a stylish array of strokes sped him to a half century from 75 deliveries.
Voges too, upped the tempo, until a rush of blood saw him charge at Panesar enabling Prior to complete a routine stumping. The Australian had made 41 out of a stand of 87 but his dismissal prompted a disastrous period in which six wickets fell in the space of 33 deliveries.
Samit Patel looked to heave Panesar away and was bowled when James Anyon nipped out Chris Read and Stuart Broad, both for nought, in the same over.
Steven Mullaney had to receive treatment when he was struck in the face by a ball from Anyon but was well enough to continue until chipping Panesar to midwicket.
Those three wickets fell with the score on 140 and although Andre Adams made five, Luke Fletcher then lost his middle stump, again without having scored.
Yardy enforced the follow-on and Notts again suffered an early setback. In just the second over Neil Edwards was struck on the forearm from Amjad Khan and had to retire hurt.
Akhil Patel made 22 before falling lbw to Naved with the score on 30. The Sussex attack had put in a sterling shift throughout the day but any signs of tiredness were punished during a lengthy final session as Mark Wagh and Samit Patel added 92 before Panesar ended their stand.
Wagh had made 48 and was just a quarter of an hour away from the 7pm finish when he edged the spinner to Joyce at slip.
Samit Patel on 49 and Graeme Swann on 11 saw it through to stumps.