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Wells leads Sussex fightback
Luke Wells returned to form with the bat as Sussex made a good recovery with the bat on the opening day of their Championship clash with Derbyshire at Hove.
Sussex were in trouble when they slipped to 189-6 having been put in to bat but Wells helped rescue them with his second century of the season.
The opener made 110 and shared valuable partnerships with Ed Joyce (43), Ben Brown (45) and Chris Jordan (53) as Sussex were bowled out for 314 just before the close.
Jordan also made an impressive 48 to help swing the momentum back in Sussex’s favour after Derbyshire had dominated the first two sessions of the day.
Alex Hughes took 3-49 on his first class debut while part-time spinner Wayne Madsen claimed Championship best figures of 2-9, including the wicket of Wells. Derbyshire also handed a Championship debuts to Matt Higginbottom and together with fellow academy graduate Hughes they made an instant impact.
Higginbottom picked up his maiden Championship wicket in his fourth over when Shivnarine Chanderpaul clung on to a sharp chance at second slip to get rid of Chris Nash for 22.
Hughes struck even faster as Mike Yardy sliced his fifth ball straight to Ben Slater at point having made 12.
Sussex were 73-2 at lunch and although they found scoring more easy in the afternoon they lost wickets at regular intervals too.
Mark Footitt earned his reward for a superb spell when Ed Joyce was caught behind for 22 before Hughes removed Rory Hamilton-Brown and Luke Wright in the space of three balls.
Ben Brown put on 45 with Wells on his return from a broken finger but gave his wicket away when he hit part-time spinner Wayne Madsen’s first ball straight to midwicket.
Wells brought up his century – off 238 balls with 16 fours – after tea when he pulled Higginbottom for four but was out soon afterwards when he top edged a pull off Madsen to wide mid-on having put on 53 with Chris Jordan.
Derbyshire took the new ball shortly afterwards but it did not have the desired effect as Jordan and Steve Magoffin added 59 in good time for the eighth wicket.
Tim Groenewald cleaned up the tail by dismissing Magoffin for 32, Jordan for 48 and Lewis Hatchett for a duck to finish with flattering figures of 3-74.
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