Sussex thank Yardy and Brown

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Michael Yardy

Michael Yardy's superb 126 not out helped Sussex recover from a perilous 27 for three to close the opening day on 335 for five

Michael Yardy and Ben Brown hit centuries for Sussex to limit the impact of Ryan Sidebottom’s excellent opening spell for Yorkshire in the LV= County Championship match at Scarborough.

The left-arm swing bowler picked up three wickets for seven runs in his first spell as Sussex slumped to 27 for three before skipper Yardy and wicketkeeper Brown staged a recovery by sharing a record 198-run stand for the fifth wicket.

Brown was eventually dismissed for 108, but Yardy had advanced to 126 by the close, when Sussex were healthily placed on 335 for five.

Yorkshire were captained by South African Jacques Rudolph in the absence of Andrew Gale, who is out for the remainder of the season with a broken forearm, and also missing from their line-up was Ajmal Shahzad due to an ankle injury.

Sussex won the toss and took first use of a good batting pitch, but there was sufficient early movement for Sidebottom to create plenty of problems steaming in from the pavilion end.

He struck twice in as many balls when the score was on 15, Chris Nash falling lbw and Luke Wells neatly taken by Anthony McGrath at second slip.

Murray Goodwin denied Sidebottom a hat-trick with a defensive push but soon afterwards he was unable to avoid contact with one which moved away and McGrath held on to another well-judged catch.

Ed Joyce looked confident from the start and he and Yardy middled the ball well to improve Sussex’s situation before he was caught behind off Richard Pyrah for 45 shortly before lunch.

Yardy and Brown stamped their authority on the game by dominating proceedings in the afternoon session as the pitch flattened out.

The introduction of leg-spinner Adil Rashid in no way hindered Sussex’s progress and, after Yardy had completed his half-century off 146 balls with four fours, Brown reached the landmark off only 71 deliveries with seven fours.

Yorkshire looked to McGrath in an attempt to force a breakthrough, but a leg-side that went to the boundary heralding the century stand in 33 overs.

Although Yardy sailed past his previous best score this season of 63, compiled in his last innings against Worcestershire at Horsham, it was Brown who seized the initiative after the interval. He was the first to three figures, off 124 balls, when he sliced Rashid for his 17th four.

It was the fourth first class hundred of his career and Yardy moved to his 16th - off 242 deliveries - by nudging a single in Sidebottom’s first over with the new ball.

However, in the same over he lost Brown, who was caught behind driving loosely at Sidebottom, ending a record fifth-wicket stand for Sussex against Yorkshire and the best by any side for the fifth wicket at North Marine Road.

Yorkshire were unable to capitalise on Brown’s departure as Kirk Wernars held firm alongside Yardy for the day’s final 15 overs, off which a further 47 runs were added.

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