Sussex openers offer hope of escape
Sussex 290 and 147 for 0 v Lancashire 590
Acting captain Murray Goodwin made the 64th hundred of his first-class career to lead Sussex's resistance on the third day of their Championship match against Lancashire at Hove. Goodwin's 113, his 45th century for the county, was not enough to prevent his side from conceding a first-innings deficit of 300 after they were bowled out for 290.
But following on, openers Ed Joyce and Chris Nash took advantage of benign conditions and a tiring attack to take Sussex to 147 without loss at stumps, still 153 behind but with every chance of escaping with a draw. Joyce closed on 63, with eight fours so far, while his partner is 57 not out, having hit 10 boundaries.
Sussex had resumed on 97 for 4 in their first innings and soon lost nightwatchman Amjad Khan to a slip catch off Glen Chapple, the first of four wickets for the Lancashire captain. But Luke Wright and Andrew Hodd both gave Goodwin support in two significant stands to hold up Lancashire's bid for a third successive innings victory.
Wright, playing his first game since the World Cup because of knee trouble, helped add 81 in 23 overs for the sixth wicket before left-arm spinner Gary Keedy switched ends and immediately had him taken at slip for 33 off a ball which turned out of the rough.
Goodwin then added 90 in 27 overs with Hodd (28) but when the latter was leg before to Chapple's inswinger, soon after he took the new ball, it sparked a collapse which saw Sussex lose their last four wickets in 6.4 overs for just 19 runs.
Goodwin had not offered a chance during a watchful innings during which he mixed long periods of careful defence with some typically stylish back-foot shots through his strong areas on the off side. But on 113 he mis-timed a back-foot drive off the persevering Chapple and was caught low down in the covers, having faced 264 balls and hit 11 boundaries.
Sussex's tail didn't last long, with Keedy also finishing with four wickets when he ended the innings by bemusing Naveed Arif with his arm ball.
Lancashire might even have harboured hopes of a three-day win given the brittleness of Sussex's batting this season but they were soon forced to re-think their strategies as Nash and Joyce dug in after tea.
Their cause was aided by Lancashire's seamers regularly over-stepping. They conceded 30 runs in the first innings and a further 20 second time around, with Sajid Mahmood and Farveez Maharoof accounting for 42 of those runs between them. Sussex had themselves bowled 21 no-balls - 42 runs - in the Lancashire innings.