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Sussex rely on Yardy ton

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An unbeaten century from Michael Yardy just about gave LV= County Championship Division One leaders Sussex the upper hand against Lancashire on the first day at Emirates Old Trafford.

The 33-year-old left-hander hit 132 not out to provide the backbone of the visitors' 276 for eight.

Yardy, who came in at three, looked as though he might run out of partners before stumps, but a 74-run stand for the eighth wicket with James Anyon ensured Sussex reached the close in some health.

Sussex left-handed batsman Michael Yardy celebrates his century against Lancashire on the opening day at Emirates Old Trafford

Before that stand the only other significant combination Yardy enjoyed was an 80-run partnership with Chris Nash for the second wicket.

Nash captained the side in the absence of Ed Joyce who is away on international duty with Ireland and, now recovered from a ruptured appendix suffered in pre-season, showed his class with 40 at the top of the order.

Tom Smith removed Nash, caught behind when he drove forcefully, on his way to figures of 3-69.

In between Sussex’s two most significant partnerships Lancashire - whose hospitality suite was hosting X-Factor auditions while the match was taking place - dominated.

Captain Glen Chapple trapped Luke Wells leg before offering no shot with just 17 on the board, only for Yardy and Nash to take advantage of some indifferent bowling from Zimbabwean paceman Kyle Jarvis on his home debut.

But, just as it seemed the pair were set, Nash aimed his indisciplined drive at Smith and wicketkeeper Alex Davies claimed the edge. Rory Hamilton-Brown then skied Simon Kerrigan to extra-cover as the visitors reached lunch at 113 for three.

After the interval, Sussex lost four wickets for 48 as Jarvis, who had conceded 42 runs off his first six overs, found some rhythm to pin both Matt Machan and Luke Wright in front.

When Ashar Zaidi chopped Smith on to his stumps Yardy was looking like he might be left high and dry, but Anyon stuck around for almost two hours.

Anyon managed 35 in that time to help Yardy reach three figures in the 70th over of the day.

Bad light prematurely ended play in the 92nd over with Yardy still immovable having reached his century.

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