Somerset 83-3 (Compton 41, Trescothick 39*, Jordan 2-30, Magoffin 1-19). Sussex 1pt, Somerset 0pts.
by Jeremy Blackmore
Somerset will have been glad to get some play in this evening after losing most of the day to rain. And for much of the two hours of play they held the upper hand against the Division 1 league leaders, thanks to a fine partnership from Marcus Trescothick and Nick Compton.
The pair put on 78 in 28.3 overs, coming together in the second over when Chris Jones nicked a ball from Jordan that moved away from him through to wicket-keeper Ben Brown for a duck.
Facing an excellent spell in testing conditions from one of the finest new ball pairings in the country in Jordan and Magoffin, Tres and Compo saw off the new ball as well as a miserly spell from veteran Jon Lewis (7-4-12-0).
The Somerset batsmen found the boundary on a number of occasions. Marcus hit Anyon for four to bring up Somerset’s 50 in the 22nd over and two overs later hit the same bowler for three further boundaries off successive balls.
Nick too looked well set after his century at Durham, hitting five fours, before he nicked an excellent delivery from Magoffin through to Brown with just a couple of overs to go until stumps.
Jamie Overton was sent in as twelfth man, but only survived four balls before he was the victim of a stunning left-handed catch low down at second slip by Michael Yardy to give Jordan his second wicket of the session.
Alfonso Thomas, recalled to the team after missing the Durham game through injury, joined Trescothick to see out the remaining deliveries. Marcus hit the penultimate ball of the day for his seventh four to move onto 39* off 84 balls and we went back to the pavilion, probably honours even.
All Somerset hearts will have been gladdened by the sight of Marcus Trescothick seeing off the new ball and playing some booming drives for four this evening. Marcus himself will be desperate to make this start count and we will all be willing him to go big tomorrow.
Somerset recalled Alfonso Thomas, who missed the last match after sustaining an injury in the opening fixture against Yorkshire. Alfonso in turn replaces Craig Meschede who picked up a side strain at Durham. Otherwise we are unchanged – so only four front-line bowlers for the third match running.
Assistant coach and batting specialist Dave Houghton told the Somerset website tonight: “I think we came out of the day pretty well to be honest, and it’s just a shame about the last couple of overs. Nick Compton got a really good ball and then Jamie was bowled by a good one from Chris Jordan.
“All in all having lost the toss on a wicket that we definitely wanted to bowl on I thought we batted very well and it was a really good bit of cricket and it was a tough session.”
Dave added: “The game is in quite a good position for us now with the ball 30 overs old and there is no heavy roller involved in the game either, so I would think that anything over 250 or so will be a very challenging first innings total so that is what we will be looking for tomorrow.”
BBC Radio Sussex’s Adrian Harms said: “With rain and a wet outfield delaying play until 4.30, only 32 overs were possible. But Ed Joyce would have delighted to have won the toss, and his decision to ask Somerset to bat was vindicated in the second over with Chris Jones caught behind first ball and not a run on the board.
“Thereafter Trescothick and Compton steadied the Somerset ship, showing excellent technique in testing conditions under a stern examination from the Sussex seamers.
“With nightwatchman Overton then brilliantly caught in the slips by Mike Yardy, Sussex will feel they have had the better of a truncated opening day.”