Nottinghamshire’s bowlers were made to work for their wickets as Sussex reached 363-4 at stumps on a rain-reduced second day of the LV= county championship fixture at Trent Bridge.
Ed Joyce led the way for the visitors, with an unbeaten 129 and Rory Hamilton-Brown supported him in an unbroken stand of 158, by compiling 77 not out himself.
Rain had again intervened in the early part of the day, ruling out any chance of a start until 2.15pm, something which Mick Newell regretted.
“It wasn’t very pleasant out there for fielding or bowling but we just had to stick in there." Mick Newell
“I was disappointed to lose that first session out of the game,” said the Nottinghamshire Director of Cricket.
“It wasn’t very pleasant out there for fielding or bowling but we just had to stick in there.
“I was quite pleased that we managed to take three wickets during the afternoon, to have them four down at tea but we emphasised how important it was to take a couple more wickets for the extra bowling point and that didn’t happen.”
Joyce and Hamilton-Brown batted through the final 35 overs together and Newell felt enough pressure wasn’t put upon them
“My reaction is that was a pretty ordinary session after tea with them going along at nearly five runs per over. I don’t think we bowled very well but I’ll reserve judgement a little bit until I see how we bat.”
Resuming from their first day position of 91 for one Sussex soon lost the wicket of Chris Nash (46). Luke Fletcher had begun with two maidens from the Pavilion End before striking with the first ball of his third.
Nash pushed at the delivery and Samit Patel took a sharp low catch at second slip.
The ropes were easy to find in the early stages, with an attacking field and a short boundary on the New Stand side of the ground. Joyce, in particular, was happy to score his runs via the simplest route, reaching 28 with just seven scoring shots.
Notts broke through again when Ajmal Shahzad replaced Fletcher. His first delivery was pulled to fine leg by Michael Yardy (35) straight into the waiting hands of Harry Gurney.
Matt Prior (30), just a couple of weeks ahead of the Trent Bridge Test, got off the mark with a four off Shahzad and continued to play in an attacking vein until missing a pull off Fletcher which cost him his wicket on the stroke of tea to an lbw decision.
The final session totally belonged to the visitors as the Notts bowlers toiled under slate grey skies as Sussex successfully collected four batting bonus points.
Hamilton-Brown passed fifty for only the second time this summer and moved within sight of his first century since returning for a second stint with the Hove club during the winter.