Goodwin delivers for Sussex

Lv County Championship

On the day Sussex's champion bowler, Mushtaq Ahmed, announced his retirement, their most consistent batsman of recent times again produced the goods to frustrate second-placed Nottinghamshire.

Murray Goodwin struck a painstaking 79 from 164 balls as the defending champions closed the opening day of the LV County Championship encounter at Hove well placed on 292 for five.

While leg-spin king Mushtaq starred as the leading wicket-taker in the country in the previous five seasons, Goodwin also played a big part in Sussex’s three championship titles from 2003 onwards.

The 35-year-old passed 1,000 runs for the season for the seventh time in eight seasons when reaching 40, and he now boasts 18,076 runs in first-class cricket.

Goodwin shared a valuable fifth-wicket stand of 96 in 37 overs with Carl Hopkinson, who was unbeaten on 53 at stumps.

Murray Goodwin

Murray Goodwin underlined his worth to Sussex with a determined 79 on the first day

Goodwin was closing in on his fifth century of the season when he was trapped lbw by Darren Pattinson with the first delivery with the second new ball.

There were six boundaries in Goodwin's three-and-a-half-hour vigil, and his departure was Nottinghamshire's solitary success in the final session.

The visitors had to work hard for their wickets after Sussex chose to bat, and veteran all-rounder Mark Ealham took the first three wickets on his 39th birthday before Goodwin and Hopkinson gave the hosts the advantage.

Mike Yardy (64) earlier hit 64 - only his fifth half-century this season - to get Sussex off to a steady start in gloomy conditions.

Yardy, dropped by Chris Read on 16 off Pattinson, shared an opening stand of 82 in 24 overs with Chris Nash, who fell leg before for 28 just before lunch, stretching forward to first-change Ealham.

Ealham struck again in the third over after the interval, Andrew Hodd falling to a diving catch by wicketkeeper Read for just five.

Goodwin survived a confident lbw appeal off Pattinson when he had made 11, before Yardy's 119-ball vigil was ended by Ealham, who had him caught behind.

Ealham gave way to left-arm spinner Rob Ferley at the Sea End, having taken 3-49 in his opening stint of 15 overs, and Goodwin and skipper Chris Adams batted smoothly to add 45 for the fourth wicket in a dozen overs until Adams was run out for 23.

Adams was beaten by a good throw to the striker's end by Pattinson after Goodwin had driven Ferley to mid-on and called for a single.

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