On another truncated day at the Brightside Ground, Bristol Sussex closed on 208/4 after 65 overs in reply to Gloucestershire’s first innings of 229.
The Sussex innings was built around a second wicket stand of 114 between Chris Nash who made 66 and Luke Wells, 75. Both wickets, and the other two to fall, were taken by Josh Shaw, the 21 year old Gloucestershire seamer on a season-long loan from Yorkshire who was much the home side’s best bowler.
This morning Gloucestershire resumed their first innings on the overnight score of 201/7 with Chris Dent 86 not out and David Payne unbeaten on 48. Payne reached his third 50 in successive Championship matches with a cover drive from Chris Jordan.
But Dent wasn’t to notch his fourth century of the summer. In Jofra Archer’s first over he aimed to pull a short one, checked his shot and spooned a return catch. His 90 in 193 balls held the Gloucestershire effort together; without him they may well have been out soon after lunch yesterday for less than 100.
Archer then accounted for Shaw, bowled for 5 and when Jordan induced a leading edge from Payne for the second catch and bowl of the morning Gloucestershire were all out for 229. It was a highly competent Sussex seam bowling display; Steve Magoffin and Archer each took three wickets, Jordan and Ollie Robinson two each.
When Sussex batted they quickly lost Tom Haines, a 17 year- old making only his second Championship appearance for the county, caught behind from Shaw. That was the last success for the home bowlers before lunch which was reached on 46/1 with Nash (26) and Wells (17) both seeming in little trouble.
Soon after lunch Sussex had reached 63/1 from 21 overs when a heavy shower and subsequent bad light caused the loss of six overs.
Nash completed his 98 ball 50, his ninth of what has been a productive summer, as Sussex passed the 100 mark. Just as it looked as if the Nash/ Wells partnership would go through to tea without interruption Nash nicked Shaw to the wicketkeeper for 66. It was just reward for the Yorkshireman, watched here by his father who himself played for Yorkshire in the 1980s.
With the last ball before tea Fynn Hudson-Prentice became Shaw’s third victim when he was bowled for nine – Sussex 128/3 after 40 overs with Wells was two short of his half-century
After tea Wells reached his 101 ball 50. A useful partnership developed with Phil Salt which took the score to 186 before Wells, who was looking largely untroubled was out for 75, caught at mid-on to become Shaw’s fourth victim.
Salt was then joined by Sussex skipper Ben Brown and the pair took the score to 208/4 before the lights on the electronic scoreboard glowed so brightly that all concerned knew the weather had had its final say and the umpires took the players off.
Fifteen overs are to be bowled by Gloucestershire tomorrow morning before the new ball is due. The outcome of the session may determine the result of the match which at the end of the second day looks to be edging towards a win for the visitors.