Brown century increases Lancashire's advantage
Stumps Lancashire 319 for 5 (Brown 114, Chilton 87, Arif 1-45) v Sussex 243 (Joyce 84, Gatting 90, Chapple 5-68)
Karl Brown scored a maiden first-class century to help put Lancashire in charge of their County Championship match against Sussex after two days at Liverpool. The 22-year-old right-hander has been on the county's professional staff since 2006 but is making only his seventh four-day appearance.
He shared a fourth-wicket partnership of 180 inside 62 overs with Mark Chilton, whose 87 frustrated Murray Goodwin's side as they looked to defend their first-innings total of 243 all out. Lancashire closed the day on 319 for 5 after 111 overs, a lead of 76.
Brown was dropped on 82 at square-leg by Naved Arif off the bowling of Jimmy Anyon three overs before bringing up three figures off 177 balls. He hit a couple of boundaries in the same over to rub salt into the wound. His 114 off 236 balls, including 18 boundaries, was also the highest score by a Lancashire player in Championship cricket on this ground since Graeme Fowler scored 169 against Kent in 1987.
Sussex had started the day brightly with the wickets of night-watchman Gary Keedy and Stephen Moore to reduce the home side to 64 for 3 in the 30th over. Keedy was caught at silly mid-off by Joe Gatting off the bowling of left-arm spinner Monty Panesar - later warned for running on the pitch - and Moore chopped on an attempted pull off the bowling of Amjad Khan.
But they had to wait until midway through the evening session for their next success - that of Chilton, bowled by Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, ending his 184-ball stay at the crease. By that time, however, Lancashire had moved one run past Sussex's total. Brown fell in identical fashion to Chilton five overs later, this time Anyon getting in on the act.
Brown has been given the opportunity to start the season for the first time in his career due to his county's failure to sign an experienced batsman during the winter months. In effect, he is the direct replacement in the batting order for last season's overseas duo Ashwell Prince and Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
His previous first-class best was a 72 against Oxford MCCU at the Parks last weekend, where Chilton also scored a century and a fifty. Lancashire beneficiary Chilton mixed defence with fluent strokeplay throughout his innings but the double strike at least provided Sussex with some joy in the final session.
Anyon bowled an eight-over spell after tea, costing only 17 runs, to slow things down somewhat though Steven Croft (37 not out) and Tom Smith saw their side through to close with an unbroken partnership of 53.