There was no real sense of urgency to the Sussex first innings when they resumed on their overnight 318-5. Perhaps they felt that, having lost the whole of the first day to rain that this match is destined to trickle to a draw.
Not even the loss of two wickets in five balls midway through the session had alarm bells ringing.
The only concern was whether they would reach 400 and so record their first maximum haul of batting bonus points of the season. They duly did reach the mark with seven overs to spare, some 20 minutes before the interval, Robin Martin-Jenkins cutting Chris Jordan going for four between point and gully.
Earlier wicketkeeper Matt Prior passed 50 for the fourth time in successive County Championship innings and the feat was witnessed by national selector Geoff Miller, which should have done Prior’s England claims no harm.
Sadly for Prior four balls after reaching the mark he mis-hit an attempted pull and was taken by Alistair Brown fielding in the gully.
Then nightwatchman James Kirtley, who had hung around for a stubborn 85 minutes in scoring 18 runs, fell lbw to Saqlain Mushtaq.
The two all-rounders Martin-Jenkins and Luke Wright steadied things and eased Sussex towards an imposing first innings total, which, if nothing else, will have rendered the game safe for the defending County Champions.Reuse content