Sussex facing a troublesome task

Yorkshire 345 & 133 Sussex 253 & 7-0
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The second day at the Saffrons provided good entertainment, first for the large contingent of Yorkshire exiles who have gathered for this match and then later for the followers of Sussex, who also had plenty to enjoy.

After a century by Bill Athey, a Yorkshire exile himself, Sussex lost their last five wickets in 13 balls, giving Yorkshire a first innings lead of 92. Six of the Sussex wickets fell to Peter Hartley for 67 runs - and this after his joyously rampaging innings of 89 on the first day. At the age of 36, Hartley is having a wonderful season and he is one of those happily uncomplicated players who tries his heart out and so obviously enjoys everything he does.

The importance of Yorkshire's lead became increasingly apparent as they began their second innings. Vasbert Drakes and Ed Giddins found occasional awkward lift while Jason Lewry continued to swing the ball back disconcertingly into the right-handers.

In no time at all Yorkshire were 29 for 3, and batting was suddenly more difficult than it had been. The innings now centered round a most determined half-century from their captain, David Byas, and Sussex are going to find it extremely hard work to score as many as 219 to win.

Giddins who took 6 for 47, was a splendid sight as he ran in from the sea end with great rhythm using his height to find movement and bounce from a pitch which has not lasted well. It says a lot for him that with drug charges hanging over his head he was able to bowl like this. In this form he is definitely a future England seam bowler.

The character of county cricket badly needs out-grounds such as Eastbourne to be saved from the general rush for centralisation. There was a crowd of 2,500, which may not sound much, but it filled the limited accommodation and, along with a good number of hospitality tents, helped produce a wonderful atmosphere.

The first part of the day centered around Athey, who in a pleasantly perverse way loves making runs against his old county. They take him longer than they used to do, but his concentration is as tight as ever and his rather studious cover drives are still timed pretty well.

After some good strokes from Alan Wells at the start, he followed a wide one from Hartley and was caught behind. Neither Keith Greenfield nor Martin Speight lasted long, but at 242 for 5, when Athey turned Hartley for two to square leg for his 53rd hundred, Sussex seemed reasonably well placed.

Thirteen balls later the innings was over. Three balls after reaching his hundred, Athey played across the line in trying to turn Hartley to leg and was lbw. Then, in a rush, Peter Moores and Ian Salisbury perished in the same over from Craig White, while Hartley accounted for Danny Law and Giddins in the next.