Joyce ton gives Sussex strong platform
Sussex 321 for 3 v Hampshire
Sussex opener Ed Joyce scored his second century in consecutive weeks as his team made full use of a superb batting wicket at the Rose Bowl. The Ireland player recorded his 26th first-class century as Sussex finished the first day on 321 for 3 from 97 overs.
Joyce also scored a century last week at Hove against Lancashire and continued his fine form at the expense of a toiling Hampshire attack, making 103.
Sussex captain Murray Goodwin had no hesitation in choosing to bat first after winning the toss and was justified as Somerset raced to 100 without loss in the 30th over. Chris Nash also profited from the conditions in helping lay the foundations for a big first-innings total. Nash and Joyce put on 191 before Hampshire made their first breakthrough in the 55th over.
Nash was the first to go, leg before wicket to Sean Ervine after making 78 in an innings which included 12 fours and came off 167 balls. Nash had one piece of luck, surviving a strong appeal for a catch at the wicket when he had made only 28.
Joyce went on to complete his century before Hampshire removed him soon afterwards. He faced 221 balls and hit 18 fours before Friedel de Wet got a leg before wicket verdict at the end of the 70th over.
The only other Sussex wicket to fall came at 263 at the start of the 75th over when Luke Wells failed to get to the pitch of the ball from spinner Danny Briggs and gave Johann Myburgh a simple catch at slip. Left-hander Wells made 37 and helped establish Sussex in a commanding position.
Goodwin was then joined by Ben Brown and they added a further 58 runs in an unbroken fourth-wicket stand to see Sussex through to the close. Hampshire did themselves no favours, conceding 16 runs in no-balls but promising Briggs was not responsible for any of those.
Briggs got through 28 overs and had the wicket of Wells to show in conceding 83 runs but there was little in the surface to help the Hampshire attack.
Goodwin, leading the side in the absence of Michael Yardy, has so far hit boundaries while for Hampshire, their captain Dominic Cork, was economic, conceding only 55 from 22 overs.