Sussex knock stuffing out of Hants on day one

Dominic Corks looks a frustrated figure as Ed Joyce and Chris Nash pile on the runs
Dominic Corks looks a frustrated figure as Ed Joyce and Chris Nash pile on the runs
Hampshire's James Vince hits a six during the NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day at Edgbaston, Birmingham. PPP-170309-212743001

Hampshire start T20 Blast campaign against Glamorgan

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On the eve of this game, Dominic Cork suggested Hampshire were determined to ‘stuff’ Sussex.

But if there was any stuffing to be seen, it was what was knocked out of Hants’ bowlers on day one of their Championship derby clash.

While Cork’s side toiled with the bat on a tricky surface in their CB40 defeat to Surrey on Bank Holiday Monday, this particular track appears to be tailor-made for batsmen to make big scores.

So it perhaps should come as no surprise, given their current fortunes, that Cork should lose the toss on a day when batting first would have been the obvious choice.

Hopes of an early breakthrough faded fast as Sussex opening pair Ed Joyce and Chris Nash piled on the runs with barely a false shot between them to race to 108 without loss at lunch.

The Hampshire skipper himself – fresh from his rallying call after Monday’s defeat – shouldered the burden of trying to find the breakthrough with some long spells that a guy in his 40th year probably shouldn’t have to do.

But Cork, for all of his efforts, perhaps epitomises Hampshire’s difficulties at the moment.

The effort is there, but something’s just not quite clicking as he endured another wicketless day from his 22 overs.

Sussex, meanwhile, have no such problems with their game.

Joyce and Nash put on 191 for the first wicket until the latter was finally trapped by Sean Ervine on 78.

Joyce, however, went merrily on to ease to his century with his 18th four in his 221-ball innings, but was removed by Friedel de Wet lbw soon after reaching three figures for a fine 103.

Luke Wells (37) was undone by a smart catch at slip from Johann Myburgh off Danny Briggs’ bowling to leave Sussex at three down with 363 on the board.

But Murray Goodwin (39 not out) and Ben Brown (23 not out) had steered the visitors to 321 for three by stumps last night.

Chances are, Hampshire will be looking to reply to more than 500 once again when they have to bat at some stage as they begin a rearguard action that has become increasingly familiar this season already.