Steve Smith enjoyed a timely return to form on his third and final appearance for Sussex with 68 not out to help them into a commanding position on day one against Glamorgan.
This star-studded LV= Insurance County Championship Division Two encounter started with Ollie Robinson dismissing Ashes rival Marnus Labuschagne for one on his way to figures of four for 29.
It helped skittle Glamorgan for 129 before Smith delighted the bumper crowd at Hove with more than two and a half hours at the crease.
Top work from Steve Smith. 🔥
5️⃣0️⃣ 👏 pic.twitter.com/smJvsOlIld
— Sussex Cricket (@SussexCCC) May 18, 2023
Tom Haines (58) and teenager James Coles (50 not out) provided strong support to the Australia batter, who had struggled during his previous two innings for Sussex but showed his class with nine boundaries in his 126-ball knock.
It leaves Sussex on 221 for four with a 98-run advantage despite captain Cheteshwar Pujara enduring a rare failure with an 11-ball duck.
Stuart Broad joined England team-mate Robinson in being in the wickets on a day where Sir Alastair Cook returned to form for Essex against Nottinghamshire in Division One.
Cook had endured a lean start to 2023 but top-scored at Trent Bridge with 73 as he put on 135 for the second wicket with Tom Westley, who hit 66.
Broad’s three for 53 and Brett Hutton’s four for 69 helped bowl Essex out for 298, with Dan Lawrence out for a disappointing 16 after Tuesday’s England call-up.
Elsewhere, Ben Foakes put his England snub behind him with three catches during a hard-fought opening day between Surrey and Kent at the Kia Oval.
Foakes was left out of the England squad for next month’s Ireland Test and the first two matches of the Ashes series in favor of Jonny Bairstow but played his part in Kent being dismissed for 298, with Zak Crawley only able to make 19 following this week’s backing from the selectors.
Dan Worrall, Jordan Clark and Tom Lawes picked up three wickets apiece before Dom Sibley and Ollie Pope joined forces to see Surrey reach 88 for one at the close.
James Vince continued his strong form with 95 on a good day for Hampshire against Northamptonshire.
Vince’s classy half-century was followed up by Liam Dawson adding 56 not out as the hosts finished on 331 for six at the Ageas Bowl.
Somerset are in an equally dominant position against Middlesex after George Bartlett’s fine knock of 121.
Bartlett, Tom Abell (77) and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (68) cashed in to help the visitors post 325 for six at Lord’s.
In Division Two, 22 wickets fell at New Road where Leicestershire hold a 156-run lead over Worcestershire.
Leicestershire were dismissed for 173 after Colin Ackermann struck around to score 52 before Chris Wright caused havoc with the ball.
Wright claimed five for 32 off 10 overs with Worcester all out for 83 after nine single-figure scores.
The visitors closed on 66 for two on a bowler-friendly day with the in-form Rishi Patel out for 29.
Graham Clark scored exactly 100 to help Durham to 393 for nine against Gloucestershire in Bristol.
Scott Borthwick (53) and Bas de Leede (65) offered support for Clark while Zafar Gohar claimed a four-wicket haul to help the hosts earn maximum bowling points.