Sussex v Northants: Luke Wright puts hosts in control

Luke Wright
Wright scored his first century since May when he struck 189 against Durham at Hove
LV= County Championship Division One, County Ground
Close, day one: Sussex 319-6 v Northants
Sussex 3 pts; Northants 2 pts
Match scorecard

Luke Wright's unbeaten century handed Sussex control against struggling Northants on day one at Hove.

Wright hit 111 not out and shared 136 for the sixth wicket with Ben Brown (47) after they had struggled to 166-5.

All-rounder David Willey (2-73) removed Chris Nash and the returning Ed Joyce (40) his first Championship wickets of the summer after a back injury.

But the home side finished the day on 319-6, with Wright still at the crease after hitting a six and 17 fours.

Both sides need a victory as they currently occupy the bottom two places in the Division One table, and Northants were fortunate that dropping chances offered by Nash and Stefan Piolet were not expensive.

After Joyce - who was hit in the chest by a nasty Willey delivery - and Piolet departed in successive overs to leave the score 116-4, the latter caught behind off a lifter from youngster Olly Stone, they were in a promising position.

Andrew Hall also took two wickets, but Wright tipped the balance in Sussex's favour as he struck his second Championship century of the season.

Sussex all-rounder Luke Wright:

"I think the guys up at the top of the order did all the hard work to set the day up for us.

"At lunch they were all saying how difficult it was, and there are cracks in the pitch which makes the odd ball misbehave.

"Otherwise it comes on to the bat very nicely, but it is always better to bat here in the second half of the day, and in the final session in particular.

"We would have bowled first if we had won the toss, and in that first session we could easily have been four or five wickets down."

BBC Sussex's Adrian Harms:

"Having lost the toss and been asked to bat, Sussex must be delighted to reach stumps with just six wickets down.

"Their top order, without Michael Yardy, Rory Hamilton-Brown and Matt Machan, batted with resolve and application, and none more so than Luke Wright.

"Batting at number five, Wright was both positive and watchful, and the partnership with Ben Brown could yet prove to be pivotal.

"This was Sussex's day, which has not been the case too often in recent weeks."

BBC Radio Northampton's Chris Egerton:

"It was a frustrating day for Northamptonshire, who won a good toss and had Sussex at 116-3 with the pitch and overhead conditions helpful to the seamers.

"When one delivery went through the pitch on a length from David Willey to strike Chris Nash on the helmet, a low score seemed inevitable - but that was a notable exception and the Northants bowlers did not help themselves by dropping short too often.

"Luke Wright and Ben Brown were dominant on anything not on a full length. Their unbroken hundred partnership may have already taken the game away from the visitors although Northants believe the pitch will be best for batting on day two."