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Rawlins and Co face uphill task

On the back foot: Rawlins will have to dig in for Sussex (Photograph by Sussex CCC)

Trent Bridge (first day of four; Sussex elected to field first): Sussex (3pts) trail Nottinghamshire by 436 runs with seven wickets remaining in the first innings

Delray Rawlins and his Sussex team-mates have their work cut out for them after the first day of their Specsavers County Championship second division match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

A collapse during the final session of yesterday’s opening day of play saw the visitors finish on 11 for three in reply to Nottinghamshire’s 447 all out as opening duo Stuart Broad and James Pattinson enjoyed early success with the new ball.

Rawlins and South Africa Test player Stiaan van Zyl survived 2.5 overs against some hostile bowling to see the visitors to stumps without further carnage.

Bermudian all-rounder Rawlins has yet to open his account after facing thirteen deliveries, including the last over of the day’s play against Australian fast bowler Pattinson, who made the initial breakthrough and has claimed two Sussex wickets.

Broad, the England Test player, claimed the remaining Sussex wicket as the hosts ended the day firmly in the driver’s seat, leading by 436 runs.

The visitors’ first priority when play resumes today is to avoid the follow on, which their hosts will be looking to achieve to maintain control.

Sussex’s gamble to send their hosts to bat seemed to be a gone as Nottinghamshire were pegged back at 88 for five in the 17th over.

But the match turned sharply on its head after middle order batsman and wicketkeeper Riki Wessels led a brilliant fightback with an unbeaten double century.

The son of former South Africa captain Kepler Wessels came to the rescue with a timely maiden double century batting at No 6 to put the hosts in control.

Wessels hammered a whirlwind 202 from 177 balls, thumping 22 boundaries and seven sixes during his 245 minute innings, to make Sussex pay dearly for spilling a chance that found the edge at slip when the batsman was on 47.

Wessels featured in three half century partnerships but it was the 132 runs he added with Broad for the eighth wicket which inflicted the heaviest damage.

Together the pair put the Sussex bowling attack to the sword, Broad thumping nine boundaries and a six in his aggressive knock of 57 from 46 deliveries to help keep the scoreboard ticking over.

England duo Alex Hales and Chris Read, the Nottinghamshire captain, added 45 and 30.

Steven Magoffin, the Australian fast bowler, claimed five for 51 and former West Indies Under-19 fast bowler Jofra Archer three for 155 from 27.5 overs.

Fourth change Rawlins, who bowls left arm spin, went for seven runs in his three-over spell.