Sussex captain Ben Brown continued his rich vein of form with the bat as he and Chris Jordan led a recovery after a four wicket burst from Worcestershire all-rounder Wayne Parnell in the Specsavers County Championship match at Kidderminster.
Brown became only the second Division Two player to pass 500 Championship runs for the campaign and his unbeaten 64 followed on from 156 not out, 60 not out, 131, 107 and 33 in his previous five knocks.
He was given excellent support by Jordan during an unbroken partnership of 83 after the pair came together early in the afternoon session with Sussex struggling on 102-6 following another impressive performance from Parnell. When rain brought a premature end to play shortly after 3pm, the visitors had recovered to 185-6 off 51.5 overs with Jordan 44 not out.
Parnell, who had a spell at Hove during the 2011 season, has been a model of consistency since starting a three year contract with Worcestershire as a Kolpak player this summer. He again showed his potency with the ball in dismissing Luke Wells, Harry Finch and Laurie Evans during an initial spell of 3-22 from six overs from the Pavilion End and then returned after lunch to account for David Wiese.
Adam Finch’s maiden first class wicket - plus a scalp for club captain Joe Leach – helped to put Sussex on the ropes after they had been put into bat on the pitch used by Kidderminster for Saturday’s Birmingham League fixture before the heavens opened.
But then Brown and Jordan joined forces and opted for an aggressive counter-attacking approach in adding an unbroken 83 in 18 overs for the seventh wicket. The same pair had joined forces at 68-6 in the recent match at Northamptonshire – and put on 309.
A sizeable crowd greeted the first Championship fixture at Chester Road since 2008 after floods had engulfed Blackfinch New Road and prompted the change of venue. Adam Finch took the new ball in tandem with Leach and the England Under-19 paceman made the first breakthrough to remove makeshift opener Will Beer who has replaced the injured Phil Salt.
Beer hit 97 in the role against Gloucestershire at Arundel last week but today made only three before he pushed forward and edged Finch through to keeper Ben Cox. It was the introduction of Parnell to the attack that sent the wickets tumbling. Harry Finch (0) drove hard at the 29-year-old and was pouched by Josh Dell at backward point.
Then two wickets went in the same over from Parnell to leave Sussex on 55-4. Wells (29) flicked Parnell off his legs to Barnard at mid wicket and then Laurie Evans (2) lost his off stump. The last ball before lunch accounted for Stiaan van Zyl (28) who pushed forward to Leach and was bowled.
Parnell broke through again in his second over of the afternoon as he trapped David Wiese (5) lbw. Jordan survived a difficult chance before he had scored from a Parnell delivery with Barnard at backward point unable to grasp onto the one-handed opportunity.
He profited from this let-off in cover driving and cutting Parnell for four before lofting spinner Brett D’Oliveira for six over deep mid wicket. Brown went to his half century from 85 balls with 10 fours before the rain intervened and prevented no play after an early tea.