Worcestershire all-rounder Ed Barnard was delighted to carry on where he left off with the ball in Specsavers County Championship cricket.
Barnard had been the pick of the bowlers in the first innings of Worcestershire’s previous Championship match with Gloucestershire at Cheltenham a month ago and ended with four wickets.
He continued in the same vein today with 3-55 as Sussex recovered from 49-3 to reach 342-7 from 96 overs thanks to a century from Chris Nash.
Barnard said: “They probably got a few too many runs than we would have liked especially after starting so well.
“Obviously a couple of missed opportunities (catches) have gone down which have cost us a bit.
“But all in all we came back, got seven wickets, and in the morning have got to get those last three as quick as we can.
“There was a little bit of movement off the pitch but it is a good batting track so hopefully we can keep them under 350, bat past them and hopefully put ourselves in a good position.”
In terms of his own performance, Barnard said: “The ball came out nicely again. It seemed to continue on from the last Championship game at Cheltenham and I felt in good rhythm.
“I’ve not had that much opportunity to bowl in the white ball stuff so it was nice to get back to the red ball stuff and the chance to bowl some overs.
“I’ve worked with Mase (Matt Mason) a little bit. I had a little period when I wasn’t quite happy with the way the ball was coming out. Recently it has come out really nicely.”
Barnard now has 28 Championship wickets – only three less than last season when he was second highest wicket-taker for the County in the competition behind Joe Leach.
He said: “It will be nice if I can go past that, a personal milestone. To better that would be good.
“But it is important to make sure we win as many games as we can and get promoted.”
Sussex’s recovery was akin to the way many counties are able to recover from challenging starts to their innings.
Barnard said: “If you look around the counties now, there are definitely a lot more batters down the order than there used to be.
“But also the pitch at New Road, there always seems to be a little bit in it early on and then it tends to flatten out as the day goes on.”
Barnard said all the bowlers were happy to be back bowling with a red ball after the big-hitting displayed in the T20 Blast.
He said: “All the bowlers said they were looking forward to bowling with a red ball. Obviously you have seen the scores in T20 and all the bowlers seem to have been whacked a bit at all counties.
“To get back to a bit of peace and quiet with the red ball is quite nice!”