MCC 266 for 5 (Bell 88, Flower 76) lead Sussex 200 by 66 runs

A combination of bad light and heavy rain meant that only 34.1 overs were possible at Lord's today in the second day of the season-opener between MCC and Sussex. In that time, MCC progressed to 266 for 5, with both batsmen to fall - Ian Bell and Andy Flower - missing out on their hundreds.

There was no play before lunch, and hence Bell and Flower were keen to make up for lost time, starting brightly as the Sussex attack took a while to warm-up in the damp and chilly conditions. The batsmen cruised along with little trouble until Mohammad Akram warmed his side's spirits by removing Bell for 88, courtesy of a good catch by Michael Yardy (195 for 4).

Flower, 40 not out overnight, continued his warm-up for the season ahead with Essex - as a non-overseas player this time - as he eased past his half-century, and gave MCC the lead. He added 59 with Alex Gidman before edging Akram, a county colleague last summer, behind to Tim Ambrose, the wicketkeeper, for 76 (254 for 5).

Gidman was named as England A's captain for their tour of India this winter, but had to fly home early with an injury. Today, though, he had his chance to put that frustration behind him, and he showed his credentials with five fours and a six on the way to 42 not out. Bad light inevitably forced an early close around 5pm, with MCC leading by 66 runs.