There was grim news on the South Coast and it was not confined to Warwickshire's rocky reply to the sizeable Sussex first innings yesterday, although the loss of the captain, Nick Knight, and the England hopeful Ian Bell were telling blows on another deceptively cold day here.
The really bad tidings concerned England as much as Warwickshire with the news that Ashley Giles is unlikely to bowl or field in the rest of this match after straining a hip flexor muscle in his right leg on the first day. The England left-arm spinner went to hospital for a scan, the results of which will not be known until today. Giles explained: "It built up yesterday, came on quite sharply and it was quite painful."
According to Gerhard Mostert, the Warwickshire physiotherapist, the injury is not too serious. "I can run," Giles added, "so I could bowl, but the advice is not to do anything to aggravate it. It's a shame because it is the best start I've had." The 32-year-old entered this match as the country's leading wicket-taker on 24 at 17.00, but his first-innings return was a wicketless 11 overs for 37 runs. Pretty good considering how Sussex piled up the runs.
It was painfully slow, though. The captain, Chris Adams, had added 26 to his overnight 41 before he managed to run himself out going for a third run. It left James Kirtley, who had entered the fray the previous evening as nightwatchman, with a further protection role - this time of Johann van der Wath.
The South African quickly took charge although it was Kirtley, who had earlier taken Sussex to their third batting bonus point, who had the honour of getting them to their fourth. That came at the last possible opportunity, in the 130th over of the innings. But Sussex, and in particular Kirtley, ploughed on.
Kirtley's stand with Van der Wath had produced 45 runs, but he bettered that with the leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed adding 50 for the ninth wicket. When he finally fell, after more than three hours of resistance, Kirtley qualified for extra pay for his double shift as nightwatchman, having also seen Sussex past 400.
The openers, Knight and Michael Powell, did not find things easy. Powell was dropped at second slip when he had made 10. Then, in the space of two overs after the interval, the defending county champions were dealt a wicked one-two. Knight fell lbw sweeping Mushtaq and, in the next over, Bell was lbw playing across a full length ball from Robin Martin-Jenkins.
Worse followed when Powell was bowled through the gate by the left-armer Jason Lewry, Alex Loudon was caught and bowled by Mushtaq and in the last over Dougie Brown was bowled by Lewry to leave Warwickshire, 271 behind and needing 122 runs to avoid the follow-on, looking a little bit sick at the seaside.Reuse content