Nottinghamshire travel down to Hove this week to face Sussex in their fifth LV= County Championship match of 2011 hoping that the presence of Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann will help them to continue an excellent start to the season in front of the Sky cameras.
It will be their first 4-day meeting on the ground since 2008, when a high-scoring affair ended in a draw. That match has since been referred to on many occasions as it featured a century opening stand, the last occasion on which the feat was achieved by a pair of Nottinghamshire openers in the championship.
On that occasion, Bilal Shafayat (118) and Will Jefferson (80) posted 157 together. Backed up by 128 from Mark Wagh and 98 from Matt Wood Notts posted an impressive 558-7 declared.
"There have been 67 meetings at the County Ground with Notts having won 22 to Sussex’s 18, with 27 draws."
In recent times Hove has not been a happy hunting ground for Nottinghamshire in first class cricket and the side haven’t won there since 1983. That match featured an amazing start as Richard Hadlee and Mike Hendrick ripped out the Sussex top order in spectacular fashion to finish with four wickets apiece. At one stage the home side were 0-3, then 5-5 and 19-8 before Tony Pigott, batting at ten in the order, hit a lusty 63 to take his side to 115 all out.
Since then Notts have played at Hove on eight other occasions, drawing five and losing three. Amongst Nottinghamshire’s performances of note in those fixtures have been centuries for Jason Gallian, John Morris and Chris Broad, plus Greg Smith’s double five-wicket haul in 2001 (5-64 and 5-37). In 1997 a certain M Newell made his maiden first class ton – but it was Sussex’s Mark, rather than our Mick.
The largest individual score by a Nottinghamshire batsman at Hove is the 249 made by AO Jones in 1901 with Clive Rice (246 in 1976), Joe Hardstaff jnr (213* in 1914) and Arthur Shrewsbury (209 in 1884) the only other double-centurions there. Rice’s score was the highest of his career.
There have been 67 meetings at the County Ground with Notts having won 22 to Sussex’s 18, with 27 draws.
The two counties have also met at Eastbourne, Arundel and Horsham over the last 25 years with Adam Voges (139) scoring his first Nottinghamshire century in the 2009 drawn meeting at Horsham.
Overall first class meetings between the two sides, at all grounds, now stand at 208, of which Nottinghamshire have won 81 to Sussex’s 47, with 80 games ending in draws.
Contrasting results occurred in two Trent Bridge meetings between the sides. Nottinghamshire’s most convincing victory came when the teams met in 1895 – a victory by an innings and 378. Their narrowest defeat came in the 1960 clash, losing by just one run.
The two most recent meetings between the sides have been in the Twenty20 format, with Notts winning both – at Trent Bridge in the quarter final of the domestic competition last July and then in Dubai on April 1st this year, when Samit Patel’s 76 not out powered The Outlaws to a nine-wicket victory in the final of the Emirates Airlines T20 competition.
Both sides have now played a quarter of their championship fixtures. Notts lie second in the table on 73 points, just one behind early leaders Lancashire, having won three of their opening four contests. Sussex have won just one of their first four matches and are seventh on 35 points.
Nottinghamshire players who are approaching individual milestones are Andre Adams (498 first class wickets), Paul Franks (488 first class wickets, of which 447 have been for Notts , Neil Edwards (99 first class innings) and Adam Voges (98 first class matches).