Nash's marathon knock a delight for tutor Kirsten
Sussex 163 (Joyce 56, Raine 4-30) and 377 for 6 (Nash 144, Joyce 69, Taylor 62) drew with Leicestershire 473 for 8 dec (Pettini 142*, Horton 100, Cosgrove 80, O'Brien 55)
Chris Nash batted for more than seven hours to score his second hundred of the season as Sussex denied Leicestershire on the final day of the Specsavers County Championship match at Hove.
Nash spent part of the winter working with Gary Kirsten and the former South African opener, who once batted for more than 14 hours in a Test match, would have admired the adhesive qualities Nash showed in making a chanceless 144 to add to the 119 he made against Essex a fortnight ago.
"I'm delighted. I worked hard during the winter with Gary Kirsten and it has paid off," he said. "Gary stays in touch and he texted me at tea and I know he's delighted with how I have started the season, but the coaching staff here have made sure I keep doing the things that we worked on. I have tried to be more relaxed and play at an even tempo. My job here was just to bat as long as I could but because I'm more relaxed I get less tired, it was disappointing to get out when I did because I still felt good."
Nash batted for seven hours 26 minutes, more than an hour longer than his previous longest innings, faced 315 balls and hit 21 fours but when he was caught behind down the leg side in the 110th over Leicestershire's hopes of winning were rekindled with Sussex five down and only 32 runs ahead.
Ben Brown was out shortly afterwards to Charlie Shreck and in a tense final hour Ollie Robinson needed lengthy treatment after ducking into a bouncer from Clint McKay that removed part of his helmet. However, Robinson and Ajmal Shahzad survived, taking Sussex to 377 for 6 when the players shook hands on a draw.
Nash didn't offer a chance all day as he settled for quiet accumulation in the sheet anchor role. A first-wicket stand of 136 with Ed Joyce gave Sussex the belief that they could save the game on a placid pitch which was offering little assistance to Leicestershire's five seamers.
Joyce himself batted for 200 minutes for his 69 before chasing a ball from Wayne White that he should have ignored and although Matt Machan (13) also fell before lunch, Nash was able to form another important stand with the experienced Ross Taylor for the third wicket. Together they added 93 and used up 29 overs although Taylor was fortunate to be reprieved on 21 when Paul Horton dropped a straightforward chance at slip off the unlucky McKay.
Nash briefly came out of his shell to reach his century with successive fours off Shreck but he scored only 30 runs between lunch and tea. There was belated reward for McKay when he slanted one into Taylor (62) before Nash and Luke Wells took Sussex to within eight runs of making Leicestershire bat again when Neil Dexter trapped Wells (23) leg before with the ninth ball after tea.
The dismissals of Nash and Brown in the space of three overs briefly re-energised Leicestershire but they gave up hopes of victory with eight overs left.