Notts lose their way to Sussex
A first-innings collapse left Nottinghamshire staring at defeat as Sussex took firm control of their LV= County Championship meeting at Trent Bridge.
Beginning the day on 132 for one, 356 behind the visitors, Notts reached 206 for two before losing their last eight batsmen for 105, with Monty Panesar and Naved Arif taking three wickets apiece.
Darren Bravo and captain Chris Read hit half-centuries but Notts were still dismissed for 311 and duly asked to follow on.
Panesar picked up two more victims to take his season’s haul to 69 as Notts lost three wickets in 11 balls before bad light brought an early end to proceedings, with the hosts still trailing by 74 runs.
On a slow and flat Trent Bridge wicket, Notts supporters had every reason to think their side could avoid the follow-on having seen Sussex rack up 488 over the first two days.
Overnight batsmen Karl Turner and Bravo progressed with little trouble - epitomised by the latter hitting Panesar for a six over long-off.
But James Anyon’s worthy opening spell claimed a wicket soon after as Turner played on off the back foot for 64.
Bravo reached a patient fifty off 144 balls but then saw Riki Wessels and Steven Mullaney sent back to the pavilion in the space of three balls as Arif removed the off-stump of both.
Sussex skipper Michael Yardy’s inspired decision to begin the afternoon session with the gentle medium pace of Joe Gatting paid off immediately as Bravo played all around an in-swinging delivery and was plumb lbw for 53.
Read and Paul Franks put on 41 for the sixth wicket before the latter feathered a defensive edge off Arif through to wicketkeeper Ben Brown, heralding a quick submission form the tail.
Amjad Khan bowled Graeme White and had Luke Fletcher caught at second slip, before Panesar ended Read’s resistance for 55 with a Brown stumping and then bowled Andre Adams to wrap up the innings.
At that stage, there were still 38 overs left in the day.
And when Notts’ in-form opener Alex Hales ended his season in poor fashion, edging Amjad to first slip in the seventh over, the brittle batting line-up was left exposed one again.
Panesar had Bravo caught behind off a defensive edge and fizzed a quicker ball into Wessels’ off-stump two balls later.
At that point a three-day victory for Sussex looked a possibility, but, despite Chris Nash removing Turner lbw for 42 in the next over, deepening cloud cover ended the day’s play on 103 for four.