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REPORT & REACTION: Joyce leads Sussex fight with century at Hove


Ed Joyce scored a century on the second day of Sussex's LV=County Championship at Hove as the hosts fought hard against leaders Yorkshire, at a sun-baked County Ground.

Leg spinner Adil Rashid finished the second day with 3 for 67 as Joyce, with 100, led Sussex’s reply of 175 for 4 to Yorkshire’s first innings 494, in which Ballance made 165.

Skipper Joyce put on 110 for Sussex’s first wicket with Luke Wells, but Rashid, a member of England’s Oval Test squad and tipped to make his Test debut against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in the autumn, then bowled Wells for 43 with a quicker ball before having Matt Machan caught off bat and pad at short leg for a two-ball duck in the same over.

Liam Plunkett reduced Sussex to 139 for 3 by winning an LBW shout against Chris Nash on 18, and Joyce fell 14 balls from the close when he chipped Rashid to short leg trying to turn him around the corner towards the vacant fine leg area.

Earlier, Ballance’s first hundred since April’s Antigua Test, and a record-breaking seventh wicket stand of 197 with Tim Bresnan, propelled Yorkshire into a strong position after they had resumed on 346 for 6.

Left-hander Ballance, dropped by England because of poor form following the second Ashes Test defeat at Lord’s, converted his overnight 98 not out into 165, his 26th first-class century, and Bresnan, who resumed on 44, went to 78 before he was run out at the non-striker’s end failing to complete a second run called for by Plunkett.

Ballance clipped a ball from seamer Ollie Robinson to the mid-wicket boundary in the second over of a scorching morning to reach three figures for the first time since he made 122 for England against the West Indies in the Caribbean, and batted with increasing confidence to move past 150.

He celebrated reaching that landmark with his second six and had faced 266 balls in 349 minutes at the crease, also hitting 19 fours, when he was greeted by a fine ball from left-arm seamer Chris Liddle which beat him off the pitch to bowl him off stump.

Four balls later, after Plunkett had got off the mark with a square-driven boundary off Liddle, Bresnan’s excellent 174-ball innings – his fifth score above 50 in his 15th championship knock of the summer – ended when he was slow to respond to Plunkett’s call and failed to beat Nash’s throw from long leg.

Steven Patterson went for a duck, caught behind off Liddle, and his dismissal delayed the lunch interval as nine Yorkshire wickets were down. That then brought a last wicket partnership of 35 in 7.1 overs before Plunkett, sent back by Ryan Sidebottom, was run out by Joyce’s direct hit at the bowlers’ end.

Plunkett made 28 from 34 balls and last man Sidebottom also played some useful strokes in his unbeaten 17, while the Ballance-Bresnan stand was a record for Yorkshire’s seventh wicket against Sussex, beating the 157 added by Bresnan and Kane Williamson at Scarborough last season.

Joyce hit Rashid for three sixes, the first over long on and the second high over mid wicket when the bowler dropped short. The third was also driven over the long on boundary and the left-hander had eleven fours besides in his 139-ball century. In all, Joyce faced 143 balls, in 204 minutes.

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