Four-ton Sussex punish Derbyshire
Derbyshire 242 and 27 for 2 v Sussex 576 for 3 dec
Chris Nash, Ed Joyce, Ben Brown and Murray Goodwin all hit hundreds as Sussex mercilessly piled up 576 for 3 declared against Derbyshire in the County Championship Division Two match at Horsham.
It was the first time in Sussex's history that all their top four batsmen had reached three figures in a first-class match, and for 21-year-old Brown it was a maiden first-class century. By the close, following a Sussex declaration at 5pm, Derbyshire were 27 for 2 in their second innings, still 307 runs adrift. Both Paul Borrington and Chesney Hughes fell to Corey Collymore, in a skilful new ball spell, with Borrington picked up at second slip and left-hander Hughes chopping on.
Nash and Joyce added 294 for the first wicket, a Sussex record for the Cricketfield Road ground, before the inexperienced Brown and veteran Goodwin continued to plunder the toothless Derbyshire attack by adding 145 in just 20 overs for the third wicket in front of a large and appreciative home crowd.
Brown, in just his seventh first-class match, reached his ton from 117 balls but he then throttled back as Goodwin, with four sixes and 12 fours, raced to the 63rd first-class hundred of his prolific career off only 83 balls.
Jonathan Clare, who conceded 107 runs from his twelve overs of fast-medium, suffered the indignity of being both savagely square cut and deliberately uppercut for sixes by Goodwin in the space of three balls.
It was truly a chastening day for bottom-of-the-table Derbyshire, who were bowled out for a well below-par 242 in their first innings and now face an almost impossible task of saving the game over the final two days.
Sussex, 170 without loss overnight, scored a further 406 runs in 76.4 overs to earn themselves a first-innings lead of 334 and the prospect of a victory to keep up the momentum of their promotion challenge. Nash, resuming on 81, took a mere 15 minutes to complete his first hundred for Sussex at his home club ground, and he then moved quickly on to 156 before reaching for a wide ball from Robin Peterson, the left-arm spinner, and mis-hitting to cover. He had faced 174 balls, hitting a six and 20 fours, and his stand with Joyce eclipsed the 258 put on at Horsham by John Langridge and Jim Parks (senior) in 1938.
Joyce stayed to add a further 127 for the second wicket with Brown before falling on 164, caught at the wicket off Greg Smith after hitting 21 fours from 293 balls.
Brown finally sliced a swirling catch to cover, for a 125-ball 112 that contained 11 fours, after he and Goodwin had sent Sussex careering past their previous highest total against Derbyshire, the 493 made at Hove in 1929.