Nottinghamshire bounced back from their midweek disappointment to turn in one of their most comprehensive all-round bowling performances on the first day of their LV= County Championship match against Sussex at Trent Bridge.
After electing to bat first, the visitors were bowled out for just 171 in 70.1 overs, with Andy Carter claiming 3-41 and team-mates Andre Adams, Harry Gurney and Ben Phillips all weighing in with two apiece.
In reply Nottinghamshire closed on 88-1
Riki Wessels, who made 199 when the sides met at Hove in May, again enjoyed himself against his father’s former county. The 26-year old ended the day with an unbeaten 38 to his credit, after earlier running out Michael Yardy with a direct hit.
“The ball came straight to me, to be fair,” he said, referring to his fielding. “It was a bit of a crazy run as there was no need to go for it. It was the last ball of an over and the new batsman had just come in.”
Laughing, he added, “We practice that a lot and I’ll take it as it’s about one from ten direct hits this summer for me but it was a suicidal run really.”
Wessels also praised the character of his side, to turn in a solid performance after Wednesday’s loss.
“The beauty of it is that we have come straight back in , albeit in a different format - but as professionals we have to put it behind us as we’ve got a championship and a CB40 competition still to win – what’s gone is gone.”
Notts named an unchanged side for the third championship match in a row and it was the bowlers who had the early work to do as Sussex skipper Michael Yardy won the toss and elected to bat first.
It took until the 12th over before Nottinghamshire made their first breakthrough, as Andre Adams fired one into the pads of Ed Joyce (7) to send him on his way leg before wicket.
In the following over Chris Nash (15), who had battled away for 50 minutes, threw an uncharacteristic drive at a widish delivery from Ben Phillips and toe-ended it behind to Chris Read.
26-2 should have been 30-3 but Alex Hales spared Luke Wells, as the left-hander nicked Adams to him at first slip.The same batsman had a further life on 18 when another edge, this time off Andy Carter, was also put down by Hales.
Murray Goodwin, possessing an average of 102 from his eight previous Trent Bridge first class visits, elegantly stroked his first delivery for four and was on 18, with Wells on 27, as lunch was taken at 69-2.
The afternoon session belonged to Nottinghamshire, with five wickets falling for the addition of only 88 runs. Most pleasingly, it began with better fortune for Hales as he hung on to his third opportunity, catching Goodwin (19) off Phillips.
Six deliveries later Sussex shot themselves in the foot with a bad piece of cricket. Luke Wells clipped Adams to Wessels at midwicket but called his new partner for a run that was never there.
Michael Yardy (0) could only hope that the fielder’s throw was wild but from 25 yards Wessels’ aim was true as he threw down the stumps with the batsman not in the frame.
On 48 Wells had a scare as Gurney, and several of his team-mates, appealed confidently for lbw. Whilst waiting for a decision that didn’t come – Adams shied at the stumps and hit, although with the batsman in his ground, the effort cost four overthrown leg-byes.
Shortly after reaching his half century Wells (54) good fortune came to an end as he was drawn into a fine delivery from Gurney and clipped it through to Read.
The same combination accounted for Steve Magoffin (8) in similar circumstances to reduce the visitors to 144-7.
With the other three members of the pace attack all taking wickets Andy Carter would have felt left out, despite bowling well. His luck changed as he blew away the last three members of the Sussex card soon after tea.
Ben Brown (39) went lbw, James Anyon (3) lifted tamely to James Taylor and Amjad Khan (9) had his off pole uprooted.
In the remaining 23 overs of the day Notts lost Alex Hales (8) but an unbroken stand of 55 between Wessels and Michael Lumb (28 not out) guided the home side to within just 83 by the close, with nine wickets in hand.