Murray Goodwin underlined the value of his contribution to Sussex's successful season by holding them together here on a day when his patient application to the job in hand was clearly an approach to be recommended.
While others played themselves in only to sell their wickets prematurely, the former Zimbabwe Test batsman could not be shifted for six-and-a-half hours, sticking around for virtually the whole day for his sixth hundred of this season's Championship as Warwickshire endured another frustrating passage in an inconsistent summer.
Goodwin failed by four overs to see out the day, caught on the boundary attempting to add to the 19 fours and a six he had already scored in an innings that was ended on 150. Previously, he had given just one authentic chance when, at 61, he was put down by Neil Smith at gully.
Sussex, having started the match as Second Division leaders before Hampshire's win over Middlesex, resume on 315 for 8 this morning, a position probably less handsome than they had hoped for but satisfactory nonetheless.
Strong favourites to go up following a run of five wins from seven matches during June and July, Sussex will be sure of promotion if they can win here and while this is something they have not managed since 1982 their form this year suggests that the pattern can be broken.
Sussex won the toss and clearly fancied they could prosper on a flat pitch but the home side enjoyed immediate success when Richard Montgomerie popped the first ball of the match into short-leg's hands and thereafter no one save for Goodwin made more than 33.
Dougie Brown, who was to be unlucky with Goodwin, found a way through to bowl Chris Adams off a pad on that score, while the two young men in the middle order – Michael Yardy, 20, and the 18-year-old Tim Ambrose, who was making his first-class debut – both made it into the 20s before succumbing, perhaps, to youthful over-ambition. Yardy gave a leg-side catch off a miscued pull while Ambrose carved one high to second slip.
When Alan Richardson, who finished the day with 5 for 85, followed up by leaving Robin Martin-Jenkins to survey a flattened middle stump Sussex were 214 for 5, which might have represented a wasted opportunity had Goodwin been less diligent in waiting for the bad ball.Reuse content