Yardy ton gives Sussex edge
Michael Yardy just about gave County Championship Division One leaders Sussex the upper hand against Lancashire on day one at Old Trafford.
The England batsman's 132 not out provided the mainstay of the visitors' 276 for eight, being the primary factor in them recovering from 176 for seven.
He was involved in the only two significant partnerships of the day, putting on 80 for the second wicket with Chris Nash - now recovered from a ruptured appendix suffered in pre-season and captaining the side in the absence of Ed Joyce away on international duty with Ireland - and 74 with Jimmy Anyon for the eighth wicket.
In between those stands Lancashire, whose hospitality suite was hosting X-Factor auditions while the match was taking place, dominated.
Captain Glen Chapple trapped Luke Wells leg before offering no shot with just 17 on the board, only for Yardy and Nash to take advantage of a some indifferent bowling from Zimbabwe paceman Kyle Jarvis on his home debut.
But, just as it seemed the pair were set, Nash aimed an indisciplined drive at Tom Smith and wicketkeeper Alex Davies claimed the edge. And, after Rory Hamilton-Brown skied Simon Kerrigan to extra cover, the visitors reached lunch at 113 for three.
After the interval, Sussex lost four wickets for 48 as Jarvis, who had conceded 42 runs off his first six overs, found some rhythm to pin both Matt Machan and Luke Wright in front.
When Ashar Zaidi chopped Smith onto his stumps, Yardy was in danger of running out of partners, but Anyon stuck around for almost two hours to compile 35, helping his team-mate to reach three figures in the 70th over of the day.
Bad light prematurely ended play in the 92nd over with Yardy still immovable having reached his century.
Smith was the pick of the bowlers with three for 69 from 19 overs.