Sussex buoyed by another Joyce ton
Sussex 391 and 244 for 3 (Joyce 115*, Nash 85) lead Nottinghamshire 413 (Taylor 126, Magoffin 4-72, Hatchett 4-99) by 222 runs
A century from Ed Joyce helped Sussex seize the initiative on the third day of their Championship match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge. The visitors closed on 244 for 3 in their second innings, an overall lead of 222 after they had bowled Notts out for 413 in their first innings.
Joyce, five days short of his 36th birthday, stroked his eighth first-class century of the season in making an unbeaten 115, scoring his runs from 117 balls with 12 fours and three maximums.
The Sussex captain had made an unbeaten 204 on the same ground last season and combined with Chris Nash to put on 152 for the second wicket. Nash, who made 178 in the first innings, seemed on course for a second century in the match before nicking Luke Fletcher behind for 85.
The pair had come together after opener Michael Yardy had fallen cheaply, giving Fletcher his 200th first-class wicket. That was the end of the good news as far as the afternoon session went for Notts as Nash and Joyce rattled along at more than five runs an over in putting on 136 in 22.4 overs before tea.
Both batsmen reached their fifties in the same over - the 22nd, bowled by Gary Keedy. Joyce got there from 52 balls, with seven fours and a six and Nash followed two balls later, having faced 61 balls with eight fours. Craig Cachopa then kept Joyce company in a stand of 62 before losing his off stump, in failing light, to Luke Wood.
Notts had begun the penultimate day on 310 for 3, trailing by 81 but they lost Riki Wessels to Chris Jordan without adding to his overnight 15. James Taylor, unbeaten on 101 at the start of the day, eventually fell for 126 with his runs coming from 189 balls with 16 fours.
Steve Magoffin, who finished with 4 for 72, claimed the wicket of the Taylor, leaving Samit Patel and Chris Read to try and steer the home side towards an overall lead.
That they got there owed much to Sussex's failure to take their chances. Patel, remarkably, was dropped three times in a row off Lewis Hatchett. A regulation nick was put down by Jordan at first slip, wicketkeeper Ben Brown spilt the second and then Joyce, at point, put down his third catch of the innings from the next ball. The third miss enabled a single to be taken to give the home side a narrow lead but Patel's luck ran out in the next over. With eight needed from it to secure a fifth batting point, he charged towards Ashar Zaidi and was comprehensively stumped for 41.
Hatchett's fortunes changed, bowling Read, via a deflection on to the leg stump to leave Notts with a lead of just seven at lunch. Magoffin picked up his fourth wicket, that of Fletcher, in his first over of the afternoon and Hatchett's luck continued to improve as he quickly removed both Harry Gurney and Keedy to end with figures of 4 for 99.
Seven wickets had gone down for 103 runs by that point but the batsman then prospered in the second part of the day, with Joyce reaching his seventh career century against Notts before deteriorating light brought an early conclusion with 13.3 overs still to be bowled.