Ben Coad recorded the 10th five-wicket haul of his first-class career – but Sussex maintained their advantage over Yorkshire following a second successive hard-fought but shortened day at Hove.
Sussex, resuming on 275-5 in their first innings, were quickly reduced to 304-9, with Coad claiming three of them when play started just before 12.15pm following morning rain (19 overs were lost from the day’s allotted 104).
The new ball seamer, who struck once on day one, then added his fifth wicket shortly after lunch as Sussex were bowled out for 361, the 29-year-old finishing with 5-54 from 21.3 overs.
In reply, Yorkshire then reached close on 216-7 from 58 overs.
A quartet of top order batters were unable to convert starts during the second half of what proved to be a more productive day for the bowlers.
Stand-in captain and opener Adam Lyth made 24, his 10th run taking him to 11,000 career runs in the LV= Insurance County Championship. Lyth’s opening partner Fin Bean rode his luck at times for 49, while Dawid Malan made 37 and Shai Hope 38.
Both sides have had to work hard for their rewards during the first two days of this Division Two clash. Unfortunately, Sussex have just had more of it.
The day started well for Yorkshire. Under a grey sky in the early stages of the day, Coad was at his potent best from the Cromwell Road End of the 1st Central County Ground.
He made the morning breakthrough with his first ball – at the start of the day’s third over – when Fynn Hudson-Prentice edged him to Lyth at second slip, leaving the score at 279-6 in the 82nd.
Yorkshire had only just taken the new ball, and him and Matthew Fisher made the most out of it.
Fisher had Australian Nathan McAndrew caught behind for a breezy 23 – 302-7 after 85 overs. That was the first of two wickets in two balls as Coad ended Oli Carter’s fine 64 by getting him caught at third slip by Bean.
Later in the 86th over, Ollie Robinson edged to Lyth at second slip – 304-9.
Unfortunately, Yorkshire were then to experience an hour of frustration as 10th-wicket pair Jack Carson and Henry Crocombe shared 57 either side of lunch to push the hosts up beyond 350.
In determined fashion, England Lions spinner Carson made 26 and seamer Crocombe 25.
But Coad ended their resistance shortly after lunch when he trapped Carson lbw.
For Coad, this was his 10th haul of five wickets or more in first-class cricket. Nine of those have now come in the Championship.
But this was his first in this competition since May 2019, owing to things such as the Coronavirus pandemic and recent disruption through injury.
He missed the first half of last season, for example.
He showed all his skill in helpful conditions, making use of a touch of away swing to get Carter and England’s Robinson caught in the slips before angling one back in to trap Carson lbw.
Hudson-Prentice had been dismissed courtesy of a loose drive at one which didn’t deviate.
During yesterday’s opening day, Yorkshire could count themselves unfortunate not to have picked up more than the five wickets they did.
However, Sussex will argue that the balance was redressed when Yorkshire replied with the bat.
Either side of tea, Bean was reprieved on two, three and 31, all chances missed by Ali Orr.
The first two were off Test seamer Robinson with the new ball, both at leg slip. The first should have been taken, the second would have been a screamer as he went one-handed diving to his right.
After tea, Bean mis-timed a pull off Crocombe into mid-wicket, where Orr couldn’t hold on as he dived forwards.
In and around those, Lyth and debutant overseas star Saud Shakeel both fell shouldering arms.
Lyth was trapped lbw by Australian overseas seamer McAndrew on the verge of tea, leaving Yorkshire at 52-1 in the 15th over.
Early into the evening, Pakistani Shakeel, in at three, was bowled by a Crocombe delivery which nipped back and clipped the top of off-stump – 65-2 in the 20th.
Bean and Malan, both centurions in the season’s opening game against Leicestershire at Headingley a fortnight ago, then steadied things with a 71-run partnership.
By this stage, the grey sky had been replaced by glorious evening sunshine.
Malan hit three boundaries in as many balls off Robinson in the 25th over as he moved into the teens with Yorkshire 92-2.
At 136-2 in the 38th over, the visitors were looking well placed. But they then lost three key wickets for the addition of only 22 more, with Carson’s off-spin to the fore.
He had Bean caught behind one short of fifty, wicketkeeper Carter initially going for the stumping before realising there had been an edge and he had held the catch.
From 136-3, Malan played on to the same bowler cutting before George Hill – for eight – was bowled as he tried to defend against Robinson, leaving Yorkshire under some pressure at 158-5 after 45 overs.
Hope played nicely. He shimmied down at Carter and lofted him for a straight six before driving and pulling boundaries in a McAndrew over.
But he lost Bess shortly before close for 13 when caught at deep square-leg on the pull against Crocombe (198-6).
And he could do little about the ball from Carson which bowled him in what proved the final over of the day, keeping incredibly low, as the score fell to 216-7 in the 58th over. Carson finished with 3-34. Bad light ended play an over early.