Panesar gives Sussex the edge

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Monty Panesar

Monty Panesar took three wickets as Sussex edged ahead on day one of their match with Gloucestershire at Arundel

Monty Panesar claimed three wickets as Sussex had the better of a hard-fought first day in their LV= County Championship clash with promotion-rivals Gloucestershire at Arundel.

The left-arm spinner has not featured in Sussex’s Friends Provident t20 campaign thus far, instead playing league cricket for Bexhill to keep himself sharp.

But he relished the slow turn offered by a dry pitch at the Castle Ground, taking take 3-68 from 29 overs before Gloucestershire, led by former captain Chris Taylor’s 89, recovered from 142 for six to close the first day on 286 for nine.

Panesar was brought into the attack 75 minutes after the start and wheeled away in four productive spells.

After a switching ends, he claimed his first victim before lunch, finishing a promising innings by 19-year-old left-hander Chris Dent, who edged to slip.

After the interval he ended a patient vigil by opener Kadeer Ali, who sliced a drive to mid-on on 58, before claiming his third scalp, bowling Jon Lewis, who shared a quick-fire seventh-wicket stand of 73 with Taylor, for 32.

It was an important partnership for Gloucestershire, who had looked in some trouble when Corey Collymore removed skipper Alex Gidman and in-form James Franklin in the space of three balls.

The West Indian was well supported by Yasir Arafat, who removed opener Jon Batty leg before in the fifth over, before returning to bowl Hamish Marshall with an off-cutter after lunch.

Robin Martin-Jenkins, in his last championship game before retirement, ensured Sussex narrowly took the spoils on day one by claiming two wickets after tea.

First, he accounted for Vikram Banerjee, before taking the prized wicket of Taylor, who had looked on course to claim Gloucestershire’s first century of the season, caught behind for a 112-ball 89 including 12 fours and a six.

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