Despite a splendid innings of 128 from Chris Nash, Sussex slumped to 305-9 at stumps on the first day of the LV= County Championship match against Nottinghamshire at Hove.

In hot, sunny, conditions, Notts found themselves in the field, at the start of the match, for the first time this season.

“Losing the toss wasn’t ideal,” said coach Wayne Noon. “We wanted to bat first but to have them nine wickets down by stumps represents an excellent effort and the boys are pretty pleased with how it has gone.”

Noon added, “We thought it was, perhaps, a 380-400 wicket, so to have them at 97-4 straight after lunch, we were very pleased.”

“It was a very warm day and the non-bowlers really backed up the bowlers by chasing balls down in the field and catching really well. We pride ourselves on our fielding and have had a good day in that department.”

On a pitch that had been used for the CB40 match between Sussex and Yorkshire, the previous evening, Michael Yardy opted to bat first. In that match Luke Wright scored a century and he returned to his county’s 4-day line-up for the first time since June last year.

Notts omitted Neil Edwards and went with the following eleven: Hales, Wessels, Lumb, Patel, Taylor, Voges, Read, Phillips, Adams, Gurney, Carter.

Chris Nash, who made scores of 93 and 57 in the same fixture a year ago, got off to a flyer by taking ten runs from the opening over, bowled by Ben Phillips.

Phillips, bowling from the Sea End, bounced back with a mightily impressive first spell, which totalled eight overs and only cost a total of 15 runs. It also produced a wicket but not before Nash, on 19, was spilled by a combination of Voges and then Hales, who failed to latch on to the rebound after the initial chance had ballooned up in the air.

Ed Joyce (5) was the first to go, driving straight to Riki Wessels at point. On a decent surface Notts bowled well and gave little away little away and the bowlers were supported by some excellent outfielding and outstanding catching as two more wickets fell before lunch.

Joe Gatting (19) was starting to increase his momentum and the introduction of Samit Patel seemed to bring out his attacking instinct. He used his feet to hit the slow left-armer over the top for a one-bounce four and then tried it again but a big leading edge carried the ball to deep extra cover, where Michael Lumb took a well-judged sprawling catch.

With fifteen minutes to go in the session Murray Goodwin (1) strode to the wicket. His innings of 170 at Trent Bridge last September was his last meaningful contribution with the bat and he arrived in the middle after concerns over his current selection.

He did nothing to dispel those thoughts by nicking his seventh delivery and falling to a sensational one-handed catch by Voges, off Andre Adams.

Nash, meanwhile, had brought up his fifty from seventy deliveries and was unbeaten on 62 at the interval.

96-3 at the break became 97-4 from the first ball of the restart as Yardy (10) attempted a suicidal second to the arm of Wessels and was beaten by a country mile as the flat throw came in to Read’s gloves.

If Notts felt they were in the ascendancy at the point, their views would have differed two hours later as Nash and Wright celebrated a century stand.

Both batsmen rode their luck a little, particularly Wright – who on 25 appeared to be ‘bowled’ by Carter but the bail didn’t come off the leg stump. Several players and umpire O’Shaughnessy went and examined the pieces of wood to make sure they weren’t glued together.

Nash’s century came up in 144 deliveries, Wright’s fifty was reached in 99 balls and by tea the pair had propelled their side to 213-4.

With the second new ball around an hour away from being taken they badly needed to get rid of one of their tormenters. As it happened, they picked up both men, plus Ben Brown.

Nash’s long vigil was abruptly ended when Gurney, tearing down the hill, smashed one through his defences to clatter a ball into the stumps.

Three overs later Wright (81) chipped Patel to midwicket where Adams took a fine catch and the same bowler then found the edge of Brown’s bat (9) to provide Voges with another opportunity to show his mettle in the slips.

The second new ball saw off Steve Magoffin (19), who guided Gurney into the hands of Patel at a deepish gully and the visitors ended the day on a real high as James Anyon (4) slashed Adams to Taylor at point.