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REPORT & REACTION: Persistent Sussex earn rewards on opening day at Hove

02-Jul-2016

Steve Magoffin claimed three wickets for Sussex on an attritional first day in their Specsavers County Championship match against Glamorgan at The 1st Central County Ground, Hove.

A slow Hove pitch, which encouraged Sussex to play leg-spinner Will Beer for the first time in a four-day match for nearly three years, proved hard work for stroke players but Jacques Rudolph defied a persistent attack to reach 76 at stumps with Glamorgan on 291 for 7, having won the toss.

Earlier, Australian Nick Selman had made his maiden Championship 50 in only his second appearance while Beer had reason to celebrate too when he picked up his first wicket in the competition at Hove, eight years after making his Championship debut for Sussex.

But it proved to be a day suited to someone with Rudolph’s phlegmatic temperament. The South African hardly played a false shot in more than three-and-a-half hours at the crease. So far he has faced 168 balls and hit eight fours.

Sussex kept plugging away, and they clearly enjoyed Beer’s big moment when he ended a stand of 61 for the fourth wicket between Aneurin Donald and Rudolph by bowling Donald (29) off an inside edge, as he shaped to cut in what is only Beer's tenth first-class match.

Selman had earlier shared stands of 41 with Mark Wallace (20) and 65 with Will Bragg (29) as Sussex enjoyed just one success before lunch when Wallace was squared up by Stuart Whittingham and edged behind.

Selman was dropped on 25 by Whittingham as he dived forward at long leg but after lunch the fast-bowler defeated Selman’s forward push with a nip-backer after he had made 52 (109 balls, 6 fours) before Bragg was smartly taken at second slip by Chris Nash.

Sussex employed four spinners and the quartet bowled a third of their overs but it was their seamers who made further inroads when they took the new ball.

Magoffin took his second wicket with his first delivery with it as David Lloyd was lbw playing down the wrong line, after contributing 37 to a fifth wicket stand of 69 in 23 overs with Rudolph.

Ajmal Shahzad picked up belated reward when Graham Wagg (7) edged a drive to slip before Craig Meschede top-edged a hook off Magoffin and was caught at second slip for a duck. But debutant Owen Thomas hooked Magoffin for six in his unbeaten 15 as Glamorgan avoided further loss before the close.

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