HIGHLIGHTS & REPORT: Sussex on top at Horsham23-Jul-2014
Sussex are on top at Horsham despite Jonathan Trott's first century of the season, with the hosts closing on 204 for 4, a lead of 284.
Trott followed up his first half-century of the season against Durham with 106 and although he had some luck along the way, it was another step forward in his rehabilitation after he came home early from England’s Ashes tour in the winter because of a stress-related illness.
Trott continued his superb record against Sussex with his sixth century against the county. He has also made a double hundred and five fifties but he would not have reached three figures had it not been for some sloppy Sussex fielding. Having been reprieved twice on the second day he was put down by Luke Wright on 97 in the over before he reached his first Championship hundred since April 2012.
He fell on the stroke of lunch, feathering a catch to Ben Brown off the persevering Steve Magoffin while Sussex plugged away at the other end, although their bowlers were clearly frustrated by a succession of dropped catches.
Rikki Clarke was reprieved four times in making 24 while Magoffin, who took 12 Somerset wickets on this ground last season, finished with 4 for 74 after taking two further wickets in the afternoon session.
Sussex began their second innings with a lead of 80 and batted positively in the second half of the day to extend their advantage.
They quickly lost Chris Nash in Chris Woakes’ impressive new-ball burst and there was some slow turn for Jeetan Patel to exploit and he made a further breakthrough when Luke Wells offered a return catch off a leading edge for 31.
But skipper Ed Joyce took advantage of the quick-scoring Horsham outfield with an impressive 72 off 106 balls which included ten fours and a six over long on off Patel.
Debutant Craig Cachopa helped him add 109 in 23 overs for the third wicket with his second half-century of the match before he bottom edged Boyd Rankin to wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose trying to guide the ball through the off side.
Rankin removed Joyce just before the close for 72 when he was strangled down the leg side but Luke Wright showed his intent by lofting Patel into the tennis courts next to the ground and he will be key to Sussex’s hopes of quick runs tomorrow prior to a declaration.