Sussex control after Martin-Jenkins hundred
Gloucestershire 128 and 12 for 1 v Sussex 152 and 302
Robin Martin-Jenkins' first Championship century since 2003 put Sussex in a strong position on the second day of the Division Two match against Gloucestershire at Bristol.
The 34-year-old all-rounder continued his impressive start to the season by scoring 102 as his side reached 302 in their second innings, setting Gloucestershire an unlikely 327 to win.
By the close the home side had reached 12 for 1. Martin-Jenkins, already with two previous half-centuries and 12 wickets under his belt this season, received good support from Michael Thornely, whose patient 64 was the first time he had reached fifty in county cricket.
Tall seamer Gemaal Hussain produced another promising display for Gloucestershire. Figures of 3 for 66 took his wicket tally for the season to 14 in two games. Steve Kirby claimed 3 for 54.
Sussex began their second innings at the start of another fine day leading by 24 runs. Openers Thornely and Chris Nash built confidently on that advantage with a stand of 53.
It ended when Nash, on 35, was well caught by wicketkeeper Jonathan Batty diving to his left to hold an inside edge off Kirby. Soon Sussex were 53 for 2 as in the same over Kirby dismissed Joe Gatting lbw. The experienced paceman had proved expensive earlier in the morning, but switched to the Ashley Down Road End to good effect.
Murray Goodwin looked unhappy to be judged lbw to James Franklin for 14 with the score on 77, apparently feeling that he got an edge on the delivery. It was 102 for 3 at lunch and Gloucestershire got themselves right back into the game by taking two quick wickets after the interval.
Hussain had Matt Prior caught behind for 20 and two runs later Andrew Hodd, on two, was caught by Steve Snell diving to his right at second slip. Sussex were at that point 119 for 5 in the 42nd over, with the lead just 143.
Martin-Jenkins and Thornely then put together a vital stand of 52, with Thornely reaching his maiden half-century off 132 balls, with seven fours. It was a sterling effort by the 22-year-old, but with the total on 171 he played down the wrong line to Alex Gidman and departed lbw.
Tea was taken at 220 for 6 and 24 more were added before James Anyon's defensive shot was beaten by Hussain for another successful lbw shout. Rana Naved played positively for his 13 before attempting to pull Franklin and lobbing a catch to Jon Lewis at mid-on.
By the time Martin-Jenkins played a tired-looking shot to Kirby and fell to a catch at cover, the Sussex lead was 321 and they looked on course to start the season with three successive wins.