Worcestershire v Sussex, New Road, 1st day May 16, 2012

Nash leads Sussex challenge

Sussex 283 for 8 (Nash 84, Shantry 3-72) v Worcestershire

Worcestershire's rejigged attack clawed back some of their losses after Sussex's opener Chris Nash had logged his highest Championship score for a year during a fluctuating first day at New Road.

With Nash claiming the majority of the runs, Sussex went to lunch at 101 for 1, then lost five wickets for 67 in the afternoon, and kicked on again to close at 283 for 8 following a stand of 84 by Ben Brown and Naved Arif.

Gareth Andrew, beginning his comeback after knee surgery in December, halted Nash's gallop when he went for 84 - scored out of 109 - and Jack Shantry marked his first Championship appearance of the season with three wickets.

All this was in complete contrast to Sussex's smooth start in which Nash shared in successive half-century partnerships with Ed Joyce and Luke Wells. Nash was underway straightaway with two fours in the opening over from David Lucas and he needed only 64 balls to post his second championship fifty in 23 innings since making 120 against Somerset last May.

Worcestershire badly missed the control normally exerted by Alan Richardson but a torn muscle in his right armpit has forced their leading wicket-taker to miss a championship match for the first time since 2010.

If Nash was quick to take advantage of Richardson's absence, his opening partner Joyce was unable to impose himself as he grafted for 71 minutes to make 6 before he was caught behind off Richard Jones.

Wells also made a sketchy start but the tall left-hander battled through to end his run of low scores and outlasted Nash, who had hit 11 boundaries when he was caught throat-high by Daryl Mitchell at second slip.

This wicket led to another struggle for Murray Goodwin before Sussex's senior batsman was lbw to Lucas for 1. Having averaged 52.76 in the championship last season, the 39-year-old has made only 32 in six attempts this year.

Worse was to come for Sussex when the left-arm medium-pacer, Shantry, bagged three for 10 in a nine-over spell up to tea. Wells (39) and Michael Yardy (15) were given out leg-before and Joe Gatting's loose drive was well held by Matt Pardoe at cover point.

The seamers looked threatening throughout the afternoon but there was another twist after tea. Brown, recalled to the county side following Matt Prior's return to England duty, and Naved comfortably put on 50 before the new ball was taken. They continued to bat with some freedom until departing in the space of seven balls.

Brown (42) top-edged Lucas to Vikram Solanki, running back from slip, and Naved (46) was caught behind, attempting to swat a short delivery from Jones.