Sussex were put immediately on the back foot on the opening morning of their County Championship clash with Somerset at Taunton.

Having won the toss and elected to bat Sussex slumped to 25-3 before making something of a recovery to reach lunch on 84-4.

It could have been even worse for the visitors with in-form skipper Ed Joyce dropped one nought by wicketkeeper Craig Keiswetter.

Joyce dug in after that reprieve to get to lunch unbeaten on 18 with Luke Wright seven not out.

Sussex sprung a surprise in their team selection in naming leg-spinner Will Beer and bringing in all-rounder Steff Piolet.

With Jon Lewis absent – possibly with an Achilles injury – and Matt Hobden not selected it left Sussex with only Steve Magoffin and James Anyon as frontline seamers.

That probably influenced Joyce’s decision to bat first on a green-tinged wicket with overcast conditions aiding the bowlers.

Joyce may have regretted asking Somerset to bowl as Luke Wells and Rory Hamilton-Brown were back in the pavilion inside the opening six overs.

Wells edged Alfonso Thomas to Alviro Petersen at third slip having made six before Peter Trego knocked out Hamilton-Brown’s off stump for one.

Trego should have had another scalp when Keiswetter put down Joyce diving right in front of James Hildreth at first slip.

The Somerset seamer was celebrating a few overs later when Chris Nash – who had played a couple of lovely cover drives off Thomas – edged to Hildreth at first slip having made 15.

Matt Machan played positively to make 30 before he drove loosely at a wide half-volley from Craig Meschede and got an inside edge on to his stumps.

Joyce and Wright ensured no further damage was done before the lunch break with Joyce facing 79 deliveries for his 18 and Wright similarly watchful having faced 32 balls for his seven.