Lancashire surge after Cross hundred
Sussex 97 for 4 v Lancashire 590
Lancashire, having won their first two championship matches by an innings, put themselves in a strong position to force another overwhelming victory at Hove, as they scored 590 before reducing Sussex to 97 for 4 at the close.
It was Lancashire's joint-16th highest score in first-class cricket and their best since 2006. They resumed on 322 for 6 and added a further 268 runs in just 62.4 overs as the Sussex bowlers struggled on a flat pitch. Lancashire scored 122 runs in the morning session alone.
Sussex did not take a wicket until 10 minutes after the interval when Luke Procter, who was on 26 overnight, was sharply caught at slip by Ed Joyce off the bowling of Monty Panesar. Panesar was by some way the most economical bowler in the Sussex attack but even he came in for heavy punishment at times and on five occasions the left-handed Procter hit him over the short leg-side boundary for six on his way to 89.
It seemed that no Lancashire batsman would score a hundred - Paul Horton and Karl Brown had been out for 78 and 88 respectively on the first day - but then Gareth Cross hit a career-best 125. Cross hit 13 fours and five sixes in his 195-ball innings.
He reached his century when he edged Naved Arif for four but it was a rare moment of hesitancy in a dominating innings. Lancashire lost their eighth wicket at 536 when Farveez Maharoof was well caught, low down, on the backward square-leg boundary by Luke Wells. Cross was ninth out at 567 when, having just hit Arif towards the changing rooms for his final six, he was caught at long-on attempting another.
When Sussex batted they gave Lancashire a helping hand which the away side hardly needed. Two of the four dismissed batsmen were out without playing a shot and they need a further 344 runs merely to avoid the follow-on.
Openers Chris Nash and Joyce had done the most difficult part when they added 46 for the first wicket. But then Nash was bowled by one that jagged back into him from Maharoof. Joyce followed in the next over, bowled as he played no stroke to one that spun sharply back into him from Gary Keedy. Wells was also out without playing a shot, lbw to Keedy. Ben Brown was fourth out at 90, lbw to Glen Chapple.