A chill north easterly that eventually brought rain with it meant that only 11 overs were possible before lunch. They were eventful though, and the few hardy spectators (mostly swaddled in rugs) at least gleaned some entertainment from the wintry morning.
Hampshire, who resumed on 304-6, just 28 runs behind the Sussex total, lost Michael Lumb for 82 – his second highest innings for the South Coast county since joining them from Yorkshire last year. Lumb appears to have a problem turning fifties into hundreds for his new county. Last summer he passed the half century mark on eight occasions, but could not go on to a three figure score.
Yet Lumb managed two centuries on the ground when he was with Yorkshire, an unbeaten 103 in 2003 and 105 in 2006, his final season with Yorkshire.
Lumb fell lbw to a full length ball from Robin Martin-Jenkins, the all-rounder’s third wicket of the innings. The wicket ended a lucrative partnership of 80 for the seventh wicket between Lumb and Greg Lamb. The latter was then joined by Hampshire captain Dimitri Mascaraenhas, who is scheduled to join the Indian Premier League side Rajasthan Royals, captained by former Hampshire skipper Shane Warne and based in Jaipur, in nine days’ time.
Shortly after emerging from the warmth of the dressing Mascarenhas was struck by a delivery from Martin-Jenkins. It caught the batsman in the midriff and he doubled over in great discomfort. For a fleeting second Mascarenhas, who is expected to earn a minimum of £20,000 for his two week sojourn on the sub-continent, must have wondered whether he would be fit enough to make it over to India to pick up that cash.
As it turned out he was OK. He stayed out in the middle and not long afterwards survived what appeared to be a chance when he swept leg spinner Mushtaq Ahmed and the ball flew instead to Michael Yardy at silly point. After consultation umpires Nigel Cowley and John Steele gave the batsman the benefit of the doubt.
If anyone was in doubt about how low the temperature was they only had to look at Mushtaq. He was sporting a woolly watch cap which had been pulled down to cover his ears and he looked as if he had added a few layers of clothing to his not insubstantial frame. If it gets any colder few watchers would be surprised if the Sussex opted to bowl snowballs at their opponents.