Tea Report: Nottinghamshire v Sussex 242-8 (64 overs)
Tea on the first day (Sussex won toss)
Tuesday 20 May 2008
At last, a batsman on top here - and it's Matt Prior, the deposed England wicketkeeper, who has led a fightback for Sussex with his second century of a season in which he has already passed 500 first-class runs.
He is the first batsman to reach three figures on this ground this season, after a series of low-scoring matches played on uncharacteristic pitches, and his partnership with Robin Martin-Jenkins has given the Sussex scorecard a much healthier look.
It will have come as a relief to Steve Birks, the Trent Bridge groundsman, after the strip he prepared for the Lancashire match last week came under scrutiny following an opening day on which 20 wickets fell.
The ball held the upper hand again this morning, Darren Pattinson continuing his impressive form with three wickets in his first half-dozen overs as the defending champions reeled from a perilous 33-4 to a hardly-comfortable 76-4 at lunch.
Prior could have been gone by then, too, had Mark Ealham been in position to collect Paul Franks's throw from mid-on at the bowler's end when the Sussex player set off for a very risky single. He had also taken a bang on the helmet when he ducked into a bouncer that didn't really happen.
Yet he came through both moments unscathed and took charge of the afternoon session. Pulling and cutting to great effect, with a few handsome drives for good measure, he reached 50 in 73 balls and needed only 42 more deliveries to pass the century mark, getting there with a couple of lovely boundaries off Graeme Swann through mid-on and past point. By tea he had take his boundary tally to 19 and his aggregate of first-class runs for the season to 506.
He's had good support from RMJ, who contributed 44 to a stand of 142 for the seventh wicket before going to sweep Swann's off-spin and sending the ball soaring skywards off the top edge. Adam Voges was under it at cover. Mushtaq Ahmed has come and gone but Sussex are moving towards what might be a decent score on a lively pitch.
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