Will Beer believes the pressure will be off when he is thrown the ball at Arundel.

But the new Sussex opener would have loved to have gone into his bowling stint with a century alrady to his name.

Beer was out for 97 on a rain-curtailed second day against Gloucestershire at Arundel in his first innings at the top of the order.

A century would have been fitting reward for an epic innings which spanned seven hours and 41 minutes at the crease, facing 336 balls.

Beer was promoted up the order in the absence due to injury of Phil Salt and followed up his 50 not out at Middlesex last time out in some style.

He could have a part to play along with fellow spinners Danny Briggs and Luke Wells when Gloucestershire reply to an innings which has reached 351-8.

And he will be brimming with confidence when he is asked to do his bit with the ball.

Beer told The Argus: “I found that at Lord’s. I hadn’t played a Championship game all year but I got 50, batted nicely with Stiaan (Van Zyl) and put on a partnership there.

“I think naturally you just relax a little bit because you know you have contributed towards the game already.

“You can just go out there and have a bowl and there is no real pressure. You can just go and enjoy it.

“I consider my bowling to be my main skill, my No. 1 skill set, so hopefully the same can happen.”

Beer’s elevation meant batting with men who are not usually around when he goes in at the bottom of the order.

It was put to him he might have been run out before he had even faced a ball as Wells called for a sharp single in the first over of the match.

Beer replied with a laugh: “No, I was in easy! I was just teasing them, trying to get an overthrow or two.

“I enjoy batting with Browny (skipper Ben Brown). I was best man at his wedding so we are pretty close.

“He’s my best mate so it’s always nice batting with him.

“But we all get on well. Everyone knows each other’s games so it’s no big drama who you bat with really.”

Brown would have loved to have clapped his mate off after a century.

He said: “We were so disappointed for him that he didn’t get the hundred he deserved.

“It was a great effort. The wickets at Arundel can be slow and you can get bowled out for 150 trying to force the pace so the way he played, which allowed the rest of us to bat around him, was an exceptional effort and it’s a shame he didn’t get the hundred he deserved.”

There was a collective groan from the crowd when Gloucestershire seamer David Payne found some in-swing to knock back Beer’s off stump.

Beer, who hit 14 fours in total, put on 91 in 27 overs for the sixth wicket with David Wiese, whose entertaining contribution of 67 was his third half-century of the season.

Wiese hit Australian paceman Chadd Sayers and Payne for straight sixes as well as seven fours before he was pinned in front by Graeme van Burren’s quicker ball.

Beer will have noticed the slow left-armer got the occasional delivery to turn sharply out of the rough.

Shortly before lunch, he picked up his third wicket as Chris Jordan was bowled for seven.

At Arundel. Gloucestershire Won Toss Overnight: Sussex 257-5 (W A T Beer 76 no, S van Zyl 54).

Sussex First Innings cont’d

W A Beer b Payne 97

D Wiese lbw b van Buuren 67

C J Jordan b van Buuren 7

O E Robinson not out 10

D R Briggs not out 1

Extras (b12 lb11 nb10 pens 0) 33

Total 8 wkts (126 overs) 351

Fall: 1-34 2-44 3-154 4-199 5-241 6-332 7-334 8-342.

Bowling: Payne 29-9-71-3. Sayers 24-8-79-0. Higgins 23-8-49-0. M D Taylor 25-3-83-2. van Buuren 25-3-46-3.