Worcestershire fail to build on starts
Worcestershire 302 for 6 v Sussex
Three Worcestershire batsmen made half-centuries but none were able to go on to make the most of ideal batting conditions on the first day of their County Championship Division Two tussle against Sussex at Hove.
When opener Phil Jaques and skipper Vikram Solanki put on 157 in 34 overs for the second wicket it looked like being a long day for a Sussex side still reeling from yesterday's shock Clydesdale Bank 40 defeat to amateurs ECB Unicorns.
But the home side fought back in the second half of the day, which closed with Worcestershire 302 for 6. It was hard work in the heat for the Sussex seam attack, with only West Indian Corey Collymore able to exert a measure of control.
His first two spells totalling 16 overs went for just 24 runs and he picked up two wickets. Opener Daryl Mitchell perished to the new ball, edging to Ed Joyce at third slip in Collymore's fifth over. But Sussex struggled to support Collymore either side of lunch. Yasir Arafat, beginning his third spell as overseas player after replacing fellow Pakistani Rana Naved, looked well short of his best and conceded four boundaries in five balls to Solanki as his partnership with Jacques blossomed either side of lunch.
Sussex leaked 65 runs in 13 overs after the break as both batsmen took advantage of a short boundary on the scoreboard side but Collymore made the breakthrough when Jacques played across a straight one for 80. Arafat returned for a third spell and a switch of ends worked when Solanki played on to a ball which was not short enough to pull for 70.
Sussex were finally building some pressure but the trend of batsmen getting out when seemingly well set continued. Moeen Ali was leg before to Robin Martin-Jenkins, betrayed by a lack of footwork, and after tea Sussex got two bonus wickets just before taking the new ball.
Dutchman Alex Kervezee had played aggressively for 50 from 67 balls with 10 fours but he was caught behind trying to run a delivery from Monty Panesar down to third man to give wicketkeeper Ben Brown his maiden Championship catch.
Ben Smith, who had laboured for over an hour for his 17, then edged to third slip during a fiery spell from James Anyon. But Ben Scott and debutant Shaaiq Choudhry negotiated 14 overs of the second new ball to take their side to stumps.