Stiaan van Zyl, Tom Haines fifties prevent Sussex fortunes from clouding over

Sussex 318 for 7 (van Zyl 79, Haines 58) vs Lancashire

April cricket is usually played in changeable conditions and the fine balance between a stubborn winter and a willing spring reflected the evenly poised contest between Sussex and Lancashire on an engrossing first day.

It snowed when these sides met in the opening round at Old Trafford – the fixtures reversed after a bug infestation damaged the Hove outfield – and while temperatures were by no means that extreme, the briskness in the air was the one constant.

As the players warmed up, the ground was bathed in glorious sunshine but neither that nor the gulls’ cries were convincing anyone to remove their winter coats – in some cases two winter coats – and dip themselves in the sea as a chill wind arrived and dense cloud cover set in, giving way to varying shades of white and grey for the rest of the day.

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