Sussex in charge against Somerset after the first day at Horsham

Steve Magoffin
Steve Magoffin

Day One at Horsham belonged to Sussex as they built on Steve Magoffin’s fabulous bowling display to rack up a huge first innings lead of 222 over Somerset.

An enthralling opening day saw 19 wickets fall in total as the large crowds were treated to a fine spectacle of first class cricket, started by Aussie Magoffin in a magical morning session and rammed home by Rory Hamilton-Brown’s first half century of the season.

The paceman used the seam friendly conditions to take apart the Somerset batting attack and claim eight wickets - making the visitors regret opting to bat first as they were skittled out for just 76 before lunch.

Magoffin’s career best 8-20 were the best figures on the ground since 1948 and the fourth best ever recorded at Cricketfield Road.

That miserly total was made to look all the more lightweight as opening pair Chris Nash and Luke Wells raced past it to put on 83 for the first wicket after lunch.

Wells departed for 30 and stand-in skipper Nash was bowled by Alfonso Thomas four short of his half century, and the wickets of Joe Gatting and Mike Yardy soon followed as Somerset threatened to stage something of a fight-back.

But Hamilton-Brown entered the fray and having moved the Sussex total on to 149-4 by tea along with Matt Machan, he quickly reached his 50 - the first of the match and his first since returning to the club - in the afternoon, coming from 59 balls.

Machan was run out for 26 and Hamilton-Brown followed for a top score of 77 after lashing two big sixes, caught at second slip off by James Hildreth off Thomas.

Jordan was out for a duck and James Anyon 20 as Somerset seamer Thomas ended the day with 4-67.

Sussex though closed the day as firm favourites on 298-9 with Magoffin not out on 21 and Monty Panesar unbeaten on 17 after an entertaining swing which saw him twice dropped.