CricInfo Championship: Sussex v Middlesex at Hove, 2-5 Aug 2001
Richard Thomas of the South Wales Evening Post

Sussex 1st innings: Day One: Tea, Day One: Stumps,


GOODWIN AND MONTGOMERIE GIVE SUSSEX EARLY IMPETUS AGAINST MIDDLESEX

Openers Murray Goodwin and Richard Montgomerie posted their fifth century stand of a productive season as Sussex took the honours on a rain-affected first day of the important CricInfo Championship match against second division leaders Middlesex at Hove.

Middlesex, who have a slender four-point advantage over Sussex at the top, were without Angus Fraser because of bruised ribs and they badly missed their captain's unrelenting accuracy as Sussex scored 118-1 in the 31 overs that were possible in two spells.

A green-tinged pitch looked as if it would assist the seamers and stand-in skipper Paul Weekes put Sussex in, but his bowlers didn't put enough balls in the right areas and Goodwin, in particular, was quick to punish anything remotely off line.

The Zimbabwean passed 50 for the eighth time this season and by the close he had reached 73 not out.

Montgomerie was more circumspect and had a couple of strokes of luck. He was almost run out in the second over and had another let off when he upper cut Tim Bloomfield to second slip where Weekes got a hand on the ball but couldn't prevent it racing down the slope for four.

Bloomfield was easily Middlesex's most threatening bowler and he was rewarded in the 30th over when Montgomerie slashed at a widish delivery outside off stump and gave debutant wicketkeeper David Alleyne his first first-class catch.

With five lights on, Goodwin and Chris Adams had little hesitation in trooping off when they were offered the light at the end of the next over.

Sussex fielded four front-line seamers for the first time since the opening game of the season after Robin Martin-Jenkins, who has been out for two months with a rib muscle injury, and left-armer Jason Lewry both declared themselves fit.



SUSSEX MAKE GOOD START BEFORE RAIN INTERVENES

Sussex had the better of things in the seven overs that were possible before tea on the opening day of the CricInfo Championship match against Division Two leaders Middlesex at Hove.

Second-placed Sussex, who trailed their opponents by just four points going into the game, were put in on a green-tinged pitch, but in-form openers Murray Goodwin and Richard Montgomerie took full toll of some wayward seam bowling from Chad Keegan to reach 41-0 before the players were forced off again at 3.00pm.

Goodwin took three boundaries off one Keegan over, two of them hit to the temptingly short boundary on the scoreboard side as he reached 31 not out.

Montgomerie faced only six balls during the truncated period of play and had reached six not out when the rain, which wiped out the morning session, drove the players off again.

Sussex brought back all-rounder Robin Martin-Jenkins after injury to make his first Championship appearance for two months as they fielded four seamers and left out off-spinner Mark Davis.

Middlesex were without captain Angus Fraser, who has bruised ribs, and wicketkeeper David Nash was ruled out before the start by a thumb injury. David Alleyne came in for his first-class debut behind the stumps.

© CricInfo

Date-stamped : 02 Aug2001 - 22:30