Sussex 468-5 (Joyce 250, Wells 116, Thakor 3-59)
Sussex lead by 277 runs
If this was a boxing match, the umpires would have stopped it at tea.
Ed Joyce played a magnificent, career-best innings for the visitors, with excellent support from Luke Wells, as they added a record 310 for the second wicket. Reports suggested that the day-long sun had long dried the green from the wicket and batting turned from pre-lunch challenge into post-tea carnage.
Shiv Thakor can be extremely proud of his 3-59 in 23 overs, magnificent figures on such a day and indicative of an exemplary line and length. Tony Palladino bowled respectably and Wes Durston twirled away to finish with the wickets of the two centurions.
I'd have to say though that the figures of Luke Fletcher and Andy Carter don't bear close scrutiny. While accepting that it was not a day for bowlers, both were very expensive and it is fair comment that supporters would wish for better figures from experienced men.
Neither has made the impact that I expected thus far and came in for fearful stick from Joyce, who took five successive fours from Fletcher and four from a Carter over.
Putting not too fine a point on it, each has to do better, or the youngsters in the wings should be given an opportunity. At least we'd get ECB payments for their appearance, even if they were no more successful. With greater experience in sport comes greater expectation and neither of the seamers has impressed as yet. I'm disappointed, I have to say and expect economy and discipline, even if the wickets are unfavourable.
Got to do better. Simple as that.
In other news, it appears that Mark Footitt is set to miss 'a considerable part' of the season with a side strain, after his move to Surrey. It is a shame for Mark, who had two seasons of constant fitness at Derbyshire, but shows again how important a contribution James Pipe and Jamie Tallent made to his game. A tailored fitness regime kept him going and bowling long spells at top pace, something that we are badly missing this season.
We'll likely lose this one, but I will be watching the players response to batting a second time, a likely 400 behind. I hope to see a much better effort and people spending time at the crease, as there would appear no excuse for them not doing.