With all five members of the attack claiming wickets, Nottinghamshire’s bowlers held the upper hand on Day One of their LV= County Championship match against Sussex at Hove. The home side, who won the toss, were indebted to 93 from Chris Nash for their all-out total of 304.
Samit Patel, with 3-37, was the most successful of the bowlers, although Andre Adams claimed two to lift him to 500 in first class cricket.
In reply, a testing fifteen minute spell at the end of the day saw Notts lose the wicket of Neil Edwards, bowled by Amjad Khan. Akhil Patel and Graeme Swann will resume on 5-1 on the second morning.
Mick Newell, Notts’ director of cricket felt his side had done well to turn around a difficult first session.
“I think we’ve done well to bowl Sussex out in a day on a wicket like that, especially after their openers had put on a hundred for the first wicket.”
Newell felt that the impetus swung back towards Notts after Graeme Swann had broken that opening stand. “We needed a start. The seamers had worked hard without too much success and without creating too much. Now we need to bat well tomorrow and get past their score. It was swinging a little bit late on but hopefully it will stop moving about in the morning and we can build a good total.”
Notts made three changes from the side that played against Yorkshire last week, with Akhil Patel coming in for the injured Alex Hales, and England duo Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann replaced Paul Franks and Ben Phillips.
Sussex had England players Luke Wright and Matt Prior available, as well as their returning captain Michael Yardy.
Openers Ed Joyce and Chris Nash settled into their work quickly against the new ball pairing of Stuart Broad and Luke Fletcher. Nash was helped with an early 5 as Akhil Patel’s shy at the stumps went for overthrows – although the batsman would probably have been short of his ground with a direct hit.
Andre Adams, passed fit to play, suffered at the hands of the same batsman when he was brought on for a bowl at the start of the tenth over of the innings. The right hander hit all of Adams’ first five deliveries for boundaries, although one was a streaky snick down to third man.
Nash reached his fifty, out of a score of 71-0, in the 15th over. It took a further ten overs to advance the total to 100 but then Notts struck.
Graeme Swann, in his second over, struck from the Cromwell Road End – trapping Joyce lbw when bowling around the wicket.
Ireland’s ICC World Cup player departed for 38 and the wicket prompted Chris Read to turn to spin at both ends with immediate results. Samit Patel turned one sharply to clip the off bail to send Luke Wells back for 0.
Lunch at 105-2 represented a decent fight-back for Notts, although Nash remained a threat with an unbeaten 63 to his name.
Murray Goodwin looked to impose himself after the interval –twice hitting boundaries off Adams. When he tried to pull a short one though he miscued high towards long leg and the anticipation of Chris Read enabled the Notts’ skipper to get down there to pull off a wonderful catch.
The wicket moved Adams on to 499 for his first class career but aggressive intent from new bat Matt Prior again prompted Read to turn to his two spinners.
Going into the match Prior had declared that he daren’t get out to Swann as he’d “never hear the end of it!” Sadly, he couldn’t curb his natural instincts and tried to dictate terms early on.
From the first ball he received from the off-spinner Prior attempted an expansive drive but ballooned the ball to extra cover, where Steven Mullaney ran back to take a finely-judged catch.
After re-building during the early part of the afternoon session Sussex then lost momentum and another quick wicket when Nash perished for 93 – trapped in front to give Patel his second wicket.
Tea was taken at 219-5 with Notts, well ahead of the over rate, having got through 68 overs before the break.
The spinners continued upon the resumption and were met by a positive outlook from both Yardy and Luke Wright. Each looked to get forward at every opportunity but it enabled Patel to find the edge of the left-hander's bat and Voges took a sharp catch at slip to send back the Sussex captain.
A stand of 36 for the seventh wicket between Wright and Rana Naved was broken shortly after Notts took the second new ball. Stuart Broad had Wright well-taken down the legside by Read and then immediately sent back James Anyon (lbw) for a three-ball duck.
Luke Fletcher dismissed James Anyon in the same manner and although Naved and Monty Panesar scrambled the home side to a third batting point.
Adams collected the final wicket of the day, as Panesar chopped on, to bring up his personal milestone of 500 wickets.
For the first time since Matt Dowman and Paul Pollard in 1998, Notts sent out two left-handed openers to start a championship innings, in Akhil Patel and Neil Edwards but they were parted just before the close when Edwards fell to Khan.