Sussex hang on for a draw
Sussex 200 and 399 for 7 (Montgomerie 50, Goodwin 102, Ambrose 60, Prior 92) drew with MCC 539 for 8 dec
Sussex made sure that they didn't start their year as champions with a defeat, batting solidly through the day at Lord's until bad light brought about an early finish at 5pm to force a draw with MCC. By then Sussex were just about safe, 60 runs ahead with three wickets still remaining.
Sussex's batting heroes were Murray Goodwin, their stand-in captain, and the highly rated Matt Prior. Goodwin played attractively for 102, which included 18 fours and a six, while the Johannesburg-born Prior just missed out on his century, falling to Martin Saggers for 92. He hit 15 fours before becoming one of four victims behind the stumps for James Foster, whose century yesterday will have interested the selectors. There was also a breezy 60 for Tim Ambrose, Sussex's own keeper/batsman.
Saggers - he of the one Test appearance at Chittagong last October - was lively, and finished with 3 for 67, but MCC's other bowlers proved a little expensive as the early-season cobwebs were dusted off. But all in all, the resumption of this fixture after 13 years was a success, despite the occasionally wintry weather.