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Page last updated at 17:26 GMT, Wednesday, 9 September 2009 18:26 UK

Joyce ton comes to Sussex rescue

CLOSE OF PLAY, DAY ONE: Sussex 254, Warwickshire 15-2
(Warwicks 3pts, Sussex 2pts)
9-12 September 2009

Ed Joyce
Ed Joyce has now hit six centuries this summer for Sussex in all competitions

Ed Joyce held Sussex's brittle batting together with his third hundred of the season against Division One relegation rivals Warwickshire at Hove.

Joyce was ninth out for 107, his first century at Hove since joining Sussex.

But Sussex's last seven wickets went down for 79 as Bears spinner Ant Botha bowled 31 overs unchanged at the sea end to claim a season's best 4-63.

Replying to Sussex's 254, Botha and nightwatchman Naqaash Tahir both went cheaply as the Bears slumped to 15-2.

Joyce's sixth century in all competitions this summer was a worthy effort on a two-paced wicket which, although to the satisfaction of England and Wales Cricket Board pitch inspector Mike Denness, is already taking spin.

But, otherwise, the Sussex batting was a big disappointment having, at one stage, been sat comfortably on 185-3.

The main damage was done when they lost three wickets in 11 balls before tea, two to Botha, one to Tahir, who finished with 3-48.

Wickets then continued to tumble, even Joyce himself, when Chris Woakes came back to take the new ball and remove both him and Ollie Rayner.

Having won the toss and batted first on a used wicket, Sussex wasted the chance to put themselves in a much stronger position. But they did hit back late in the day as their decision to play two specialist slow bowlers started to pay off.

Mike Yardy opted to begin the Warwickshire reply with his two main spinners Piyush Chawla and Rayner immediately in tandem - and the home side were rapidly rewarded.

Botha was pinned by Rayner's arm ball. But Tahir's dismissal was a touch more self-inflicted, run out second ball by Robin Martin-Jenkins' throw from third man.

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