Bowlers strike after Nash puts Sussex ahead
Leicestershire 204 and 59 for 4 v Sussex 379
A career-best innings of 184 by Chris Nash and some hostile bowling from Corey Collymore and Yasir Arafat put Sussex in sight of their sixth win of the season at the end of the second day of the County Championship clash with Leicestershire at Grace Road.
Nash, dropped on 59, made the hosts pay as he steered Sussex to a total of 379 and a first-innings lead of 175, despite Matthew Hoggard's first five-wicket haul since he joined Leicestershire from Yorkshire at the start of the season.
Then Collymore and Arafat ripped through Leicestershire's top order picking up two wickets apiece before bad light and rain brought an early end to the day with the home side struggling at 59 for 4, still 116 runs behind.
Collymore trapped openers Will Jefferson and Paul Nixon lbw in his first three overs before Arafat removed James Taylor and Andrew McDonald to leave Leicestershire in disarray after a disappointing day with both bat and ball.
The tone was set in the second over of the morning when Hoggard found the edge as Nash looked to drive, only for Jefferson to spill the catch at second slip with only seven runs added to the overnigh score of 128 for 4. It was to prove an expensive error as Nash and wicketkeeper Ben Brown, deputising for England man Matt Prior, put Sussex in command.
They shared a stand of 109 in 31 overs for the sixth wicket following the early departure of nightwatchman Lewis Hatchett who was bowled by Hoggard. Nash, who had gone past 50 only once before this season, reached his century with a square cut to the ropes off Wayne White. Brown provided solid support in the partnership, scoring 38 before being brilliantly caught at square leg by White off the bowling of left-arm spinner Claude Henderson shortly after lunch.
Nash, however, continued to dominate and, joined by an equally aggressive Arafat, punished some loose and wayward Leicestershire bowling. Even the new ball, taken at 292 for 6, did not help the home side's cause with Nash pulling and cutting Nathan Buck for three fours and a six in his first over.
The Sussex opener looked well set for the first double century of his career until he spooned a catch to fine leg to give Hoggard his fifth wicket. Arafat continued to throw the bat, hitting five fours and three sixes in an entertaining knock of 58 and adding another 51 runs for the last wicket with Collymore. Hoggard, easily Leicestershire's best bowler, finished with five for 81 but Buck's three wickets cost him 110 runs in 20 overs.
Sussex wasted no time in pressing home their advantage with Arafat and Collymore making serious inroads into the Leicestershire batting in the 11.4 overs possible before the weather brought an early finish. Arafat claimed 2 for 27 in six overs and Collymore took two for 21 in his four overs.