After slumping to 24 for 3 in the tenth over, Glamorgan staged a commendable recovery to score 294 in their first innings, with Sussex ending on 79 for 3 at the close.
They were indebted initially to opener Nick Selman, who scored 58 from balls, and later Craig Meschede, playing in only his second championship game of the season, who struck an enterprising 87 from 96 balls. His innings included 10 fours and three sixes,with two maximums clearing the road at long on and landing in an adjoining garden.
Glamorgan, who were put in by Ben Brown the Sussex captain, rested five front line players, with an eye on Saturday’s T20 Finals Day, and also to give an opportunity to the younger players who will be challenging for places with Jacques Rudolph and Colin Ingram not playing championship cricket next year.
Jofra Archer struck in third and fourth over, with Owen Morgan becoming his 50th first class victim of the season when he tried to work a straight ball to leg, then Jack Murphy, on his Glamorgan first class debut, edged to second slip. Worse was to follow, when Aneurin Donald, who scored 234 here against Derbyshire last season, nicked Ollie Robinson’s second ball to the wicketkeeper.
Selman was then given solid support by Kiran Carlson, who played some glorious strokes through the off side, and they shared a valuable 72 run partnership for the fourth wicket before Carlson became Archer’s third victim when he was trapped leg before.
After Andrew Salter was caught off the shoulder of the bat at second slip, Glamorgan were 148 for 6, but Meschede and Tom Cullen, who led Cardiff MCCU to victory in the Universities Cup competition at Lord’s this year, improved the position with a valuable stand of 108, enabling them to gain two batting points.
Cullen faced 84 balls, and gave Meschede sound support until he fell leg before to Chris Jordan, who then quickly removed Rory Smith, while Luke Carey was caught on the square leg boundary. Meschede deserved a century, but was denied by Robinson- Sussex’s most penetrative and economical bowler- who ended with four wickets. Archer and Jordan shared the other wickets, as Sussex maintained a commendable over rate.
The visitors had 18 overs to bat at the end of the day, as Luke Wells and Angus Robson set off at a rapid rate, reaching fifty in the ninth over, before Wells was deceived by Carey. Sussex then lost their second wicket when Stiaan Van Zyl was squared up by Meschede, and when night watchman Danny Briggs offered no stroke to Smith to the last ball of the penultimate over of the day, Glamorgan had regained parity.
Meschede said: "We came back well after a poor start to the innings, and I was delighted with my own form. It was nice to get some runs in only my second game of the season and getting that wicket at the end”. He thought “there is enough in the pitch for us to get stuck in tomorrow, and if our four- man pace attack are consistent, we should be rewarded”.
Ollie Robinson, playing his first championship game of the season following injury, said: "It was great to be back in action after such a lengthy absence, and when I saw the greenish pitch this morning, I knew I had a chance of playing. Th ball nipped around, and if we can get a lead and bowl a little straighter in the second innings, we will be back in the mix”