Nash shines as Sussex pile on runs
Chris Nash hit his career-best score against Somerset for the second time this season as Sussex ran up 326 for three on a one-sided opening day of the LV= County Championship Division One game at Taunton.
Having made 134 against the same opponents at Hove in June, the opener helped himself to 157 on a dry pitch that offered scant assistant to any bowler.
Murray Goodwin contributed an unbeaten 96 after the visitors had won the toss.
Somerset opted to play three spinners, having struggled to bowl sides out twice with seam at home this season, but it made little difference as barely a ball passed the bat all day.
The hosts had two chances to make an impression. Nash was dropped on 27 by Arul Suppiah at short-leg off Omari Banks and Goodwin survived a leg-side catch to wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter before he had scored.
Both opportunities came immediately after a wicket had fallen. Michael Yardy was first to go, caught behind off Charl Willoughby for 15 with the total on 44.
If Suppiah had held the sharp chance offered by Nash without addition to that score it might have been a different story. Instead, Ed Joyce helped take the score to 84 for one at lunch.
It was 142 for two when Joyce fell lbw to Peter Trego for 37 and 143 for two when the diving Kieswetter failed to get a hand to Goodwin’s glance, which got him off the mark with a boundary.
By tea Sussex had progressed sedately to 192 for two and Nash was just two short of his hundred. It came shortly after the break off 195 balls, with 15 fours.
Banks went for 18 off an over as the tempo increased. Goodwin reached his half-century off 72 balls, with eight fours, as Justin Langer strangely waited until the 87th over to take the new ball at 269 for two.
Perhaps the Somerset skipper realised it would make little difference. Nash moved past his previous best score and then got to 150 with a pulled six off Willoughby, having faced 275 balls and hit 22 fours.
He finally fell to a good low catch at backward point by Suppiah, two-handed diving to his left, off Thomas with the score 313 for three. It was an innings high on concentration and application, but low on thrills.
With no hint of swing for Willoughby, Alfonso Thomas and Trego - and little sign of turn for Banks, Suppiah and Max Waller - it was another day of frustration for Somerset on their batsman-friendly pitches.