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REPORT: Tough day for Sussex despite Magoffin magic


Steve Magoffin took the 19th five-wicket haul of his Sussex career on the opening day of the Specsavers County Championship against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, but his side ended the day 11 for 3 in response to the hosts' 447 all out.

Riki Wessels was the star for Notts, compiling a career-best knock of 202 not out. He plundered his runs from 177 balls, hitting 22 fours and seven sixes. Dropped for the final four matches of last season, after only averaging 25 with the bat, 31 year-old Wessels scored his runs all around the wicket and made Sussex pay for dropping him on 47.

Magoffin, on the ground where he took 12 wickets in a losing cause in 2015, was the most successful bowler for the visitors, taking 5 for 51 but when he left the field, an hour after lunch, batting became much easier for the home side.

He had dismissed Greg Smith and Samit Patel in his opening burst, after Sussex captain Luke Wright had opted to bowl first.

Smith was smartly taken at gully by Laurie Evans for 8 and Patel feathered a catch behind for only 4. A quickfire 45 from Alex Hales, made from only 39 balls with five fours, was the chief catalyst for Nottinghamshire’s fightback but he and Jake Libby, who scored 21, went in the same Jofra Archer over.

When Michael Lumb edged Magoffin to gully, the home county had slipped from 83 for 2 to 88 for 5 in only eight deliveries.

Riki Wessels and Chris Read added 54 either side of lunch but their partnership was ended by another fine bit of bowling from Magoffin, who got one to nip back and take the inside edge on its way to bowling Read for 30. James Pattinson made just 12 runs on his home debut for Notts, caught behind to give Magoffin the 27th five-wicket haul of his first-class career.

The tall fast bowler left the field at the end of his spell, allowing Wessels to take the spotlight, although Stuart Broad also staked a claim for the batting honours as he reached a second successive 50 in the championship before being bowled by Stuart Whittingham for 57.

Broad’s knock included nine fours and a six and he helped add 132 with Wessels in only 15.4 overs. With their main strike bowler back in the pavilion Wright rotated the rest of his four-man attack, Archer, Whittingham and debutant Adam Barton – a trio that boast just 22 first class appearances between them.

Archer’s figures of 3 for 155 came from 27.5 overs, whilst Whittingham took 1 for 88 from 10 overs, with Barton conceding 81 from 11 overs. Stiaan van Zyl had better fortune, trapping Luke Fletcher lbw for 25 but no-one could tame Wessels.

His seven maximums included two scoops over the long leg ropes off Barton and a mighty heave into the pavilion off van Zyl, securing Notts maximum batting points in only 71 overs.

After two stoppages for bad light Wessels went past the 199 he scored at Hove, against the same opposition in 2012, to record a deserved double-hundred from 170 deliveries.

A fairly forgettable day for Sussex ended with their first innings in trouble as Pattinson and Broad snared three wickets in just nine deliveries.

Pattinson removed Chris Nash lbw for one and bowled nightwatchman Whittingham for no score. In between, Broad ended Finch’s short stay on one, thanks to another successful leg before wicket appeal.

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