Four-wicket star Matthew Fisher and partner in crime Ben Coad put on a new ball masterclass to ensure excellent Yorkshire enjoyed a short and sharp start to their LV= Insurance County Championship clash with Sussex at Headingley.

The seam duo shared all six wickets as Sussex, who faced only 42 overs due to rain, finished day one under significant pressure at 120-6 having won the toss.

Fabulous Fisher ended with 4-53 from 13 overs and cracking Coad 2-10 from 12 against one of only two unbeaten sides in Championship cricket this season.

Sussex are third in Division Two, chasing promotion, with one win and eight draws. Glamorgan, just behind them, are the only other side who are yet to lose a game in 2023.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. But surely Yorkshire would have been more than happy to have been asked to bowl this morning on a green-tinged pitch under an unsettled sky. It was definitely a surprise when Tom Alsop elected to bat.

Alsop top-scored for his side with 35 off 96 balls.

If there was an upside to the fact 54 overs were not bowled because of the weather, it’s that the energy levels of Fisher and Coad will have remained high. 

Coad made the initial breakthrough by getting Tom Clark caught at second slip by Adam Lyth, leaving the score at 6-1 in the third over.

Ben Coad

Picture by Allan McKenzie/ Ben Coad celebrates the wicket of Oli Carter.

Fisher then had the other left-handed opener Tom Haines caught behind by Jonny Tattersall before bowling James Coles first ball with a beauty of an in-ducker, leaving Sussex at 18-3 in the sixth.

A two-and-a-quarter-hour rain delay, including lunch, then came from 11.55am before Coad and Fisher struck once more apiece prior to the rain returning at 3.20pm.

Coad forced Oli Carter to inside-edge a drive onto his stumps before Danial Ibrahim feathered a forward defensive shot against Fisher behind as the score fell to 57-5 in the 25th over.

The second band of rain curtailed play for another two-and-a-half-hours, including tea, before a resumption at 5.50pm.

While Alsop played the lone hand for Sussex with the bat, he was not entirely convincing in doing so. His first five of six boundaries were scored behind the wicket.

His first whistled past off-stump following an inside-edge against Fisher, who later had him well caught by Ryan Rickelton at third slip as the score slipped to 76-6 in the 33rd over.

All-rounders Fynn Hudson-Prentice and Nathan McAndrew gave Sussex some respite late in the day with an unbroken 44-run stand for the seventh-wicket. Hudson-Prentice advanced solidly to 29, while Australian McAndrew hit six fours in 25.

Yorkshire have come into this game with one change following last week’s draw against Worcestershire at New Road. Jordan Thompson has replaced fellow all-rounder Matthew Revis, who has been rested.

Rain Headingley

Picture by Allan McKenzie/

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