STUMPS: Tail wags for Sussex after Wells' opening knock16-Jun-2014
Opener Luke Wells held Sussex’s batting together with a patient 74 as his side were made to work hard for runs by a persistent Yorkshire attack on the opening day of the LV=County Championship match at Arundel.
Sussex’s decision to bat first looked the right one at lunch when they were 108 for one but Yorkshire ripped through the heart of their batting in the afternoon when they took six wickets including Wells, who was dismissed after nearly four hours in the last over before tea.
His dismissal left Sussex 188 for seven but James Tredwell, who was making his debut after joining on a month’s loan from Kent, and Jon Lewis helped the tail wagged furiously to take their side to 300 for nine at stumps.
A pitch offering little pace or carry was hard work for the seamers but Yorkshire’s quartet stuck to their task manfully, none more so than Bresnan who picked up three wickets including the prized scalp of Ed Joyce for a duck and beat the bat on several occasions.
Too many Sussex batsmen got themselves out to balls they could have left alone. Chris Nash wasted a solid start when he chased Steve Patterson’s loosner but Wells and Rory Hamilton-Brown dug in either side of lunch in a stand of 60 with Hamilton-Brown greeting the arrival of off-spinner Azeem Rafiq, who was making his first Championship appearance since last August with Adil Rashid on paternity leave, by lofting him for a six over long on.
But Bresnan struck twice in five balls at the start of a productive afternoon for Yorkshire when Hamilton-Brown (48) inside-edged and Joyce pushed fatally forward to a ball that swung late.
Patterson bowled a probing spell after lunch which was rewarded when Matt Machan was well held at backward point by Rafiq before Richard Pyrah had Ben Brown caught behind before Wells fell in the last over before tea when he got a feint edge to a ball which left him off the pitch. It was a tame end to an impressive innings by the left-hander, who batted for just over four hours, faced 182 balls and hit 11 fours.
It left Sussex 188 for seven but Tredwell, Steve Magoffin and Lewis all batted positively as their last three wickets added 112 either side of a short stoppage for bad light.
Tredwell made 45 before Bresnan pinned him with second new ball but Lewis and last man Lewis Hatchett put on an unbroken stand of 52 for the last wicket with Lewis reaching a 53-ball 50 in the final over of the day to take Sussex to an unexpected third batting point.
Tredwell felt that the 112 runs Sussex have so far added for their last three wickets had left honours even. He said: "It's hard to say what a good score is until both sides have batted but we felt 300 for nine was a good effort considering the position we'd been in.
"When the ball loses its hardness it can be tough to score because it's quite a slow pitch. I was glad to get some runs. When you join a team you want to make an impression quickly and hopefully I can do so with the ball tomorrow."
WATCH: To hear James Tredwell's interview in full, courtesy of BBC Sussex, please follow the link to the Sussex TV YouTube Channel above