County Championship: Sussex start strongly against Middlesex

Ed Joyce and Steve Magoffin
Sussex paceman Steve Magoffin's three wickets took his overall tally in first-class cricket to 458
LV= County Championship Division One, County Ground (day one)
Middlesex 269: Voges 38, Robinson 4-46, Magoffin 3-61
Sussex 66-3: Nash 23
Middlesex lead by 203 runs
Middlesex 3 pts, Sussex 3 pts
Match scorecard

Sussex seized the initiative by bowling out Middlesex for 269 despite an injury to Ajmal Shahzad at Hove.

The unbeaten visitors lost both openers with only 10 on the board and were grateful to their tail for adding 66 for the final two wickets.

Ollie Robinson (4-46) and Steve Magoffin (3-61) led the attack, with Shahzad only able to bowl 9.2 overs.

However, the home side may rue giving away 60 extras, including 30 no-balls, as they struggled to 66-3 at the close.

James Harris, Steven Finn and Toby Roland-Jones claimed a wicket each, with Michael Yardy, back in the Sussex side after injury, only managing nine before he was lbw to the latter.

Earlier in the day, Middlesex's Sam Robson was unable to advance his claims to be Alastair Cook's new opening partner for England in the wake of Jonathan Trott's retirement from international cricket, making only eight before he was caught behind off Magoffin.

Voges and Nick Compton (30) added 50 for the third wicket and Neil Dexter made 34, but none of the Middlesex batsmen was able to carry on and play a major innings, despite Sussex losing Shahzad with a pectoral injury.

Number 11 Roland-Jones made 34 off 30 balls, including six fours, to earn them a second batting point.

Sussex head coach Mark Robinson:

"Ajmal Shahzad's injury hampered us a lot today. He has strained a pectoral muscle just below his left shoulder, and we need to see how it is in the morning before we can assess how bad the injury is.

"There were good bowling conditions this morning, with overcast conditions too, so it was a good toss to win. We were doing really well but the Shahzad injury hurt us.

"Matt Hobden was not at his best today, but Shahzad, Steve Magoffin and young Ollie Robinson in only his second first-class game all bowled outstandingly.

"We missed Shahzad, though, as their innings went on."

Middlesex managing director of cricket Angus Fraser:

"It's difficult to decide where this match is at the moment.

"We scored 269 but had a top score of only 38 and benefited from those 60 extras.

"The pitch is hard but cracked in places so the odd ball will do something and it might do more as the game goes on.

"Has it been good bowling or poor batting so far? It's been a strange sort of day."

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