Snarl and snap from Sussex's openers

Warwickshire 346 Sussex 125-1
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The Independent Online

Sussex, the defending county champions, are not giving up their crown without a snarl and a snap, and they took a big bite out of Warwickshire's title tilt yesterday.

Having denied the home side two precious batting points, Sussex picked up their full bowling quota, then launched into a stirring reply. The openers Richard Montgomerie and Ian Ward blazed their way to their second hundred partnership of the season inside 25 overs.

There were times when the Warwickshire attack was rendered helpless as Montgomerie, who reached his fifty off 45 balls with his 11th boundary, hammered them to all parts. Ward was more circumspect, but still reached 1,000 runs for the season in style pulling Naqaash Tahir's second ball for six.

Tahir exacted revenge a few overs later though when his yorker smacked Ward on the boot and the left-hander departed lbw, but that was Warwickshire's lot on a day when, remarkably, just five overs were lost to the weather.

Earlier Warwickshire had lost Ian Bell, who had already learned he had been overlooked for England's tour of South Africa, within a quarter of an hour of the start. He left a James Kirtley delivery, which nipped back after adding three runs to his overnight 84.

Thankfully, Jonathan Trott was on hand to shore up things, although he lost partners at an alarming rate until Tony Frost managed to take the heat out as he helped put on 99 runs in 33 gritty overs. Both men fell within an over of each other, Frost done by a straight ball from Mushtaq Ahmed, Trott becoming one of Robin Martin-Jenkins' four victims. Trott at least had the consolation of reaching four figures for the season.