Trent Bridge brings out Nash's best
Sussex 358 for 9 (Nash 178, Fletcher 3-49) v Nottinghamshire
Chris Nash continued his special relationship with Trent Bridge by scoring his third County Championship century on the ground to help Sussex to 358 for 9 on the first day of their match against Nottinghamshire. Nash scored 178, the first time he had reached three figures this summer, his runs coming from 235 balls with 32 fours. It was the 31-year old's 17th first-class hundred, with four of them coming against Notts.
After a scratchy start against the new ball he prospered to reach 70 not out by lunch and was on 160 at tea. His only alarms came after passing his hundred when twice he somehow managed to escape having edged the unlucky Samit Patel. The first instance, when on 116, saw him find a gap between wicketkeeper Chris Read and first slip Alex Hales. Nine runs later, a genuine edge seemed to go through Hales' attempt to grab it before racing down to the third man fence.
Veteran spinner Gary Keedy, who had pocketed a total of nine wickets during recent defeats to Durham and Yorkshire, ended Nash's resistance in another impressive showing. After almost five hours at the crease the opener attempted a sweep and became the second batsman to be given out lbw in that manner by umpire Richard Kettleborough.
Earlier Keedy, who ended with 3 for 96, had altered the complexion of the day by dismissing both Craig Cachopa and Luke Wright in the same over, late in the afternoon session. Cachopa narrowly missed out on his sixth 50 in seven innings, edging Keedy to slip, after sharing in a punishing stand of 133 with Nash and then Wright was trapped in front five balls later.
Notts included two debutants in their side, 21-year old batsman Jake Libby and England Under-19 left-arm medium-pace bowler Luke Wood, who picked up his maiden wicket with the first delivery after tea when he enticed Michael Yardy to steer into the hands of Michael Lumb in the gully.
At that stage Sussex had lost three wickets in as many overs but regained the initiative with Ben Brown making 46 and Chris Jordan adding 25 before both fell to the new ball. Luke Fletcher, the only right-arm bowler in the five-man attack, claimed them both to end with figures of 3 for 49, having earlier had Ed Joyce smartly taken at slip by Riki Wessels. Late in the day Wood struck again, having Steve Magoffin caught at the wicket, to secure a third bowling point for his side, with Sussex having already obtained four points for their efforts with the bat.
"We are playing on pitches that are not normal Trent Bridge pitches because, with the inclusion of Gary Keedy, we want them to spin, so I think we've come out of that reasonably well but day two will tell us how well," Mick Newell, Nottinghamshire's director of cricket, said. "I thought Luke Wood was terrific. He was running in at half-past five with the same skill and aggression that he showed when he was running in half-past 10. It was good that the captain put him on to bowl straight after tea and I'm very pleased he got that first wicket and pleased he chipped in again right at the end.''
Sussex head coach Mark Robinson said he was delighted for Nash, adding: "I'd have taken that score at the beginning of the day but probably not at 250 for two - we got careless. Chris Nash is a good player and I'm delighted for him. He's not had the year he wanted. He had a ruptured appendix that really put him back but he's just had a 19-day break and has come back really well. He was outstanding at Hove last week and has carried that on here.''