Trent Bridge specialist Murray Goodwin scored his sixth career century against Notts – and fifth in Nottingham - to lift Sussex to 312-6 at the end of the first day of the final LV= County Championship match of the season.
In blustery conditions, Goodwin, who has an average of over 95 from 13 career innings on the ground, was unbeaten on 117 at stumps.
Andre Adams was the pick of the home attack, ending with figures of 3-79, and he said they would have been better but for Goodwin. “We hate him”, laughed Andre. “Seriously, he is a good player – a class player and class players perform in big situations - and when they are required to do so, and he did it here again.”
The wind was undoubtedly a factor during the day, with bowlers often losing their run-ups.
“The wicket was slow, which didn’t help – but the biggest factor was the wind which made it so difficult to get a rhythm going.”
Notts will be looking for quick wickets to prevent the south coast side posting a substantial first innings score.
“Hopefully it’s not blowing a gale again tomorrow”, said Andre. “We should then be able to knock them over fairly early in the morning.”
As expected, Notts made just one change from the team that played at Edgbaston last week, with Darren Pattinson’s spot going to Charlie Shreck, making his farewell appearance for the club.
Put in to bat, the first half an hour brought 27 runs to the openers before Shreck made the initial breakthrough, trapping Chris Nash lbw (18), with umpire Rob Bailey upholding the confident appeal.
Joe Gatting’s arrival in the middle coincided with Andre Adams being brought into the attack and the Auckland Ace wasted no time in claiming his 63rd victim of the season.
Having missed out on adding to his championship tally during the match at Edgbaston, Adams only needed three deliveries to strike, knocking back Joe Gatting’s off stump with one that nipped sharply back off the seam.
At 28-2 Sussex were in early difficulties but experienced hands Ed Joyce and Murray Goodwin restored the equilibrium by remaining together for the remaining eighty minutes before lunch, during which time they added an unbeaten 66.
Chris Read rotated his four main seamers – and also used Steven Mullaney – all before lunch but the buffeting winds often played havoc with the bowlers
With both men having registered more than 1200 runs in the championship this season it was crucial for Notts to part them as soon as possible but they were suffered a cruel blow when Joyce was on 49.
Edging Adams, the ball appeared to be scooped up, low down, by Hales at first slip. The celebrations were cut short when – after a deliberation – the umpires allowed the batsman to remain at the crease.
The stand of 11 was eventually broken – by a similar route. Another Joyce edge off Adams, was this time taken at second slip by Mullaney.
Michael Yardy (29) employed an aggressive approach – including a hooked six off Fletcher but he also survived two very confident lbw appeals from the bowling of Adams. Eventually, after a stand of 51 with Goodwin, he fell - nicking the Kiwi to Chris Read.
20-year old championship debutant Matt Machan failed to show the expected nerves as he warmed to his task – using his feet repeatedly against the spin of Graeme White. Together with Goodwin – 18 years his senior – he helped put on 114 for the fifth wicket.
The pair each passed respective milestones shortly after the taking of the second new ball. Machan’s fifty arrived as he chipped Shreck straight down the ground for four, then in the next over Goodwin’s 67th career ton came via a two to third man off Luke Fletcher.
Adams and Shreck eventually combined to break the stand – Machan (71) playing a loose drive at the Cornishman and ‘Dre took an athletic catch leaping high in the slip cordon.
As so often happens after a long stand the next batsman suffers. Ben Brown (0) unluckily played on to Adams from just his third ball faced but that was to be the last success of the day for the home attack, with the former Zimbabwe Test star poised to add to his considerable tally of Trent Bridge runs on the second morning.