Tough start for White Rose
Yorkshire were given a clear indication of the challenge that faces them in LV= County Championship Division One after impressive performances from Chris Jordan and Chris Nash helped Sussex dominate the opening day at Headingley.
Following promotion to the top flight last term, the White Rose – in their 150th anniversary year - identified their bowling department as an area that required strengthening, with Jack Brooks and Liam Plunkett arriving in the close season.
However, today it was Yorkshire's batting that proved their downfall as only three players made it into double figures against a disciplined Sussex pace attack, which utilised the conditions superbly after skipper Ed Joyce won a crucial toss.
Jordan, making his championship debut for Sussex after signing in the winter following his release from Surrey, expressed decent pace as he returned figures of 6-48 off 15 overs to help dismiss Yorkshire for just 96, their lowest total against Sussex at Leeds.
Ryan Sidebottom tried his best to drag his home county back into the game with 3-30, but Sussex reached 104 for three, a lead of eight, thanks to Nash - who showed his opponents attack can be the best form of defence on a green surface with a wonderful 80.
Although the ex-Nottinghamshire left-armer snared Luke Wells lbw early, Nash - who survived two loud appeals from new boys Plunkett and Brooks – took a liking to the latter by hitting five of his 13 fours in just seven deliveries en route to a 59-ball half-century.
Sidebottom gave Yorkshire hope by having Michael Yardy caught behind and, despite looking at ease, Nash departed in similar fashion an over before bad light brought a premature end to proceedings.
Adam Lyth and Alex Lees, making his four-day debut, tried valiantly to negotiate the new ball this morning - only for the visitors’ seamers to strike thrice as Yorkshire slipped to 11 for three in the 14th over.
Lyth played on to James Anyon, the economical Steve Magoffin trapped fellow Australian Phil Jaques lbw and Andrew Gale succumbed to Jordan’s second ball, tickling behind to Ben Brown.
Lees drove Jordan through the covers for the first boundary of the day, which required 70 minutes to arrive. But the all-rounder soon had his revenge when Lees chased a wide one to depart for a 51-ball six.
Jonny Bairstow struck successive fours off Jordan, only to go for one shot too many on 29 and see an attempted pull off Anyon fall into the hands of Brown three overs after lunch.
Yorkshire were soon in dire straights when Jordan struck twice in as many overs, locating the edge of Gary Ballance’s bat before accepting a simple caught and bowled opportunity after Plunkett had inside-edged onto his pad, leaving Yorkshire 82 for seven.
Jordan breached the defences of Sidebottom and Brooks in quick succession before wrapping up a sorry innings by holding on to Azeem Rafiq’s wild hack at first slip off Magoffin.