Goodwin stabilises Sussex
Sussex 213 for 7 v Leicestershire 114
An unbeaten half century from Murray Goodwin gave Division Two leaders Sussex a measure of control after a fluctuating first day in their County Championship tussle with unbeaten Leicestershire. Sussex closed on 213 for seven, a lead of 99, and although 17 wickets fell umpires George Sharp and Graham Lloyd were happy with the conditions and did not feel it necessary to call in an England and Wales Cricket Board pitch inspector.
Leicestershire were back in the contest when they reduced Sussex to 112 for six having been dismissed for just 114 in 35.3 overs. But Goodwin added 49 with Robin Martin-Jenkins and an undefeated 52 for the eighth wicket with Rana Naved to tilt the balance back Sussex's way.
Will Jefferson and Matt Boyce had begun confidently enough for Leicestershire and had 38 on the board in the ninth over when Naved uprooted Jefferson's off stump to spark a collapse which saw 10 wickets fall in 26.4 overs, the last four in 29 balls after lunch. Jefferson's 27 was comfortably the best score as Sussex's in-form seam attack caused havoc and fully justified stand-in captain Goodwin's decision to put the visitors in.
Rana struck again in his next over when Paul Nixon nicked to the wicketkeeper and the innings became a sorry procession after that. Change bowlers Martin-Jenkins and James Anyon both took two wickets before lunch with Anyon spoiling Andrew McDonald's debut when he defeated him with a late in-swinger. McDonald was leading Leicestershire in the absence of Matthew Hoggard, who pulled out after being sick just before the start.
Tom New led a partial recovery with Wayne White to take the score to 85 for 6 at lunch but Rana returned to mop up the tail and finish with 4 for 49 while Corey Collymore picked up Claude Henderson and New, who was last out trying to clear long off.
Sussex promoted Anyon to open after Chris Nash was sidelined by a migraine and the left-hander did a decent job, battling away for 28 overs before becoming one of three post-tea victims for Nathan Buck on the day after his 19th birthday. Anyon lost opening partner Michael Thornely when he was caught low down at slip off AJ Harris, while Joe Gatting was taken down the leg side by wicketkeeper New in Henderson's first over.
Nash was trapped on the crease by the persistent McDonald but it was Buck who really got Leicestershire back into the game during a hostile spell down the slope. Anyon was strangled down the leg side, England wicketkeeper Matt Prior drove loosely to gully and the out-of-form Hodd was trapped on the back foot before Goodwin and Martin-Jenkins restored stability.