A fluent eighth wicket partnership of 96 in 21 overs between David Wiese and George Garton put Sussex on top against Worcestershire at Hove.
The first half of the second day’s play had been washed out but Wiese and Garton made up for that after the overnight pair of Ben Brown and Tom Clark had fallen in successive overs.
Wiese struck a typically powerful 47 from 72 deliveries, with eight fours. But Garton was even more impressive, with a career best unbeaten 59 which followed his maiden half-century in the previous match against Derbyshire.
Fast bowler Garton wants to be recognised more as an all-rounder and he is pressing his claims. Here, he faced just 68 deliveries and hit nine fours in an innings that showed his timing as well as power. He reached his fifty with a sumptuous extra-cover drive for four of Ed Barnard, who was armed with the new ball.
The Worcestershire pace attack bowled well. But the surface was slow and then, towards the end of the day, they didn’t make the most of the new ball. The day was further curtailed when the players left the field eight overs early because of bad light.
Any play at all felt something of a bonus. When the teams took an early lunch at noon it was with the half-expectation that play would be called off shortly afterwards. But then the sun came out and another inspection was announced for 2pm, with the result that play would start at 3pm with 42 overs to be bowled.
Sussex resumed on 150 for five and in the 80 minutes before tea they progressed to 216 for seven. Brown, seven not out overnight, scored the first runs of the day when he cover-drove Charlie Morris’s third delivery through the covers for four.
The tall, left-handed Tom Clark, 18 and making his first-class debut, looked impressive and in the mood to make a claim for a top order batting place next season in what has been a disappointing season for the county in that department. The 18-year-old England Under-19 batsman pulled a short delivery from Adam Finch to square-leg for four and when Wayne Parnell replaced Morris at the sea end he punched another boundary through the covers.
But then, flashing at a wide delivery without moving his feet, he was caught by Riki Wessels at first slip for 13. And in the next over Ed Barnard had Brown lbw for 33. Just before tea Parnell, in the middle of an over, had to be helped from field clutching his left arm.