Chris Adams is determined Sussex do not get distracted by their August date at Lord's and his side looked determined to concentrate on the here and now at Arundel yesterday.

His attack justified Adams' decision to field first after he won the toss by dismissing winless Yorkshire for 238 on a pitch offering a lot more assistance for the bowlers than has been the case at the Castle Ground in recent years.

It made for some compelling action as captain Craig White held Yorkshire together with his 18th first-class hundred before he was last out for 104 to give Mushtaq Ahmed his 50th wicket of the season.

That left Sussex 23 overs to negotiate before the close which was always going to be difficult against as experienced a new-ball attack as Jason Gillespie and Matthew Hoggard.

Richard Montgomerie fell to the Australian in the fourth over, fencing to slip outside off stump, and Mike Yardy's first Championship innings for a month ended disappointingly when he shouldered arms to South African Deon Kruis.

But Murray Goodwin and Carl Hopkinson saw Sussex to stumps and they will resume today on 52-2 with the contest nicely poised.

With 12 wickets falling on the first day, it already looks as if this match, like six others in the Championship this season, will not go the distance.

Games at Arundel do not tend to take shape until the third or fourth days but then again not many of the 15 previous fixtures here stretching back to 1990 have been played on as sporting a pitch as this.

There is a decent covering of grass, presumably to make sure the surface holds together, and Yasir Arafat got several balls to fly off a length including the delivery to Darren Lehmann which gave the Pakistani a prized first Championship scalp for the county. Others, more worryingly for the first day, kept low.

Conditions would certainly appear to suit Yorkshire's attack more than the home side but, as White proved in more than five watchful hours, there were runs to be scored while pitch inspector Mike Denness pronounced himself perfectly happy with what he had seen.

Yet it was swing, rather than excessive seam movement, which brought Jason Lewry wickets with successive balls. His first victim was Michael Vaughan, who is continuing his rehabilitation after knee surgery.

Vaughan looked in decent order for three-quarters of an hour. Then Lewry struck, swinging a ball between Vaughan's bat and pad to hit middle and off before trapping Anthony McGrath on his crease with his next delivery.

James Kirtley's two wickets suggested he is getting back to his best with his re-modelled action.

Michael Lumb was leg before falling across his crease and Andrew Gale gave his wicket away with an airy waft after lunch, having done the hard bit by batting for more than an hour to get himself established.

But it was Arafat who enjoyed the biggest celebration with the key wicket of Lehmann.

Not many bowlers have consistently managed to get it above stump height at Arundel in recent years but Arafat located the shoulder of Lehmann's bat in his third over and Matt Prior, who had a good day behind the stumps in front of chairman of selectors David Graveney, did the rest.

When Lewry returned after lunch to unseat Gerard Brophy, Yorkshire were 101-6, but White found a staunch ally in Richard Dawson.

They added 99 in 20 overs for the seventh wicket with Dawson hitting Mushtaq for a towering six over long off and five fours from 71 balls before he got over-ambitious and was bowled around his legs sweeping against the spin.

There was never much danger that White would be left high and dry before reaching his first century against Sussex and he duly got there with a glorious cover drive off Lewry, his 13th boundary.

Adams took a good low catch at slip off Mushtaq to remove Gillespie, Hoggard gave Lewry his fourth success and White was finally beaten by Mushtaq's googly.