It takes more than a plague of would-be Daddy Long Legs to upset Tom Haines’ pre-season.

The Sussex batsman opened his year with a century in a relocated friendly yesterday.

Sussex are taking on Surrey over two days at the Oval.

They will be on the road for a little while after their LV= Insurance County Championship opener versus Lancashire was switched to Emirates Old Trafford.

Ground staff at Hove are said by the county to be making “significant progress” in renovating areas of the playing area which were affected by a recent leatherjacket grub infestation.

But a switch of fixtures gives an extra fortnight for the turf to recover.

A two-day warm-up fixture versus Hampshire this Thursday and Friday has also been switched, from the 1st Central County Ground to the Ageas Bowl.

The grubs which have caused the problem are the larvae of Daddy Long Legs and cause damage to lawns by feeding on the roots of grass plants.

But head groundsman Ben Gibson and his team appear to have seen them off.

Former Sussex groundsman Andy MacKay, now pitch and grounds advisor at ECB, visited Hove to check on progress.

The displaced 12-man Sussex squad enjoyed what they found underfoot and overhead on their trip to the Oval and scored 382-5 off 90 overs.

Haines led the way with 106 off 153 balls, including 21 fours, after he opened with Aaron Thomason (18).

Stiaan Van Zyl made 37 from 73 balls on his return to these shores from South Africa.

Tom Clark added 73 from 112 balls, including 12 fours and six.

Skipper Ben Brown had made 57 from 70 deliveries, with nine fours and a six, when he retired.

Delray Rawlins made an undefeated 26, giving his attractive strokelay an early airing by lofting a couple of sixes.

George Garton fired 33 not out from just 31 balls, including six fours, to round off the day.

Surrey gave overs to nine different bowlers.

Sussex allowed youth a chance in the Bob Willis Trophy last year and that policy will continue to an extent.

Their squad at the Oval includes Scott Lenham, son of former Sussex batsman Neil and grandson of Les.

Joint coach Ian Salisbury said: “Scott Lenham’s inclusion continues our policy of integrating our academy players with the professional squad.

“Scott has trained well over the winter and deserves this opportunity.

“It’s great to see another generation of the Lenham family representing Sussex.”

Stuart Meaker, Ollie Robinson and Phil Salt are not involved in the current fixture but will join the action versus Hampshire.

Mitch Claydon is banned for the first two fixtures of a new-look Championship, in which the 18 counties are divided into three groups initially, from which they will earn places in division one, two or three.

Sussex have spent pre-season in nets protected from the elements at Hove.

Salisbury said: “Everyone has been working really hard all winter and the last six weeks in the marquee have been brilliant, but you can’t beat getting back out in the middle.”

The change to the Championship schedule means Lancashire will host Sussex at Emirates Old Trafford from Thursday, April 8.

Hove will stage the return fixture from Thursday, April 29.

Sussex’s first home fixture of the season will now be the Championship match against Yorkshire from Thursday, Aril 22.

Glamorgan, Kent and Northants complete the six-team group in the frst stage.

All fixtures are currently taking place behind closed doors due to Covid protocols.