Sussex v Warwickshire, Arundel, 2nd day May 30, 2011

Warwickshire on top at Arundel

Warwickshire 370 for 6 v Sussex 251 a

A solid collective batting effort left Warwickshire well-placed at the halfway stage of their County Championship Division One clash against Sussex at the Arundel festival.

After bowling Sussex out for 251 on the opening day, the visitors closed the second on 370 for six, already 119 in front on a wicket starting to offer sharp turn. Warwickshire were given a good foundation by their top three with Varun Chopra (50), Ian Westwood (72) and Will Porterfield (56) all hitting half-centuries.

Sussex fought back after lunch when a quick double strike from Luke Wright helped Warwickshire slip from 178 for one to 196 for four but a partnership of 98 in 20 overs between Darren Maddy (76) and Tim Ambrose (38) put the visitors firmly back in control.

After Warwickshire resumed the day on 58 without loss, Chopra and Westwood extended their opening stand to 77 before the former, having driven the previous ball for his 10th four to reach 50 from 55 balls, fell lbw to Jimmy Anyon.

Sussex soon turned to the tandem spin of Monty Panesar and Ollie Rayner but Porterfield struck the latter for two handsome off-side boundaries to make it clear the slow bowlers would not be allowed to dictate.

Westwood reached his half-century from 125 balls with five fours and the Bears were well-set at 155 for one at lunch. Westwood looked on course for a second successive Championship century before, having added 101 in 41 overs with Porterfield, he fell to almost his first false shot. Panesar surprised him with bounce and Ed Joyce took a low catch at slip.

Porterfield advanced to his fourth Championship half-century since joining Warwickshire from Gloucestershire last winter, a patient affair from 139 balls, but again failed to build it into a ton, playing on to the first ball of a spell from Wright.

Jim Troughton then carelessly drove Wright to short extra-cover as Sussex battled back during a tense afternoon session which brought just 69 runs for three wickets in 30 overs. However, that fightback was halted by Maddy and Ambrose, who had scored 38 against his former county before steering Anyon to gully.

Maddy hit 12 fours in his 76 before edging Anyon (three for 69) to Andrew Hodd, but Sussex's hopes of engineering a late collapse were thwarted by Rikki Clarke (21 not out) and Keith Barker (30 not out), who added an unbroken 41 before stumps.