Cosgrove marks new contract with century

Leicestershire 322 for 7 (Cosgrove 122*, Horton 71, Archer 5-61) vs Sussex

Mark Cosgrove's unbeaten century helped leave Leicestershire in a healthy position following the opening day of their Specsavers County Championship against Sussex, for whom Jofra Archer shone with the ball.

It was confirmed before play that Cosgrove had signed a one-year contract extension with Leicestershire, tying him to the Foxes until the end of 2019, and the Australian celebrated with a masterful 122 not out at Grace Road.

That was the 32-year-old's second century in successive matches and allowed the Leicestershire captain to guide his side to 322 for seven at stumps.

Opener Paul Horton (71) and number nine Zak Chappell, who contributed 40 to an unbroken 51-run stand with Cosgrove, also impressed as Sussex paceman Archer threatened to run through the hosts.

The 22-year-old, playing only his 12th first-class match, bowled with intelligent accuracy as well as hostility on an essentially good pitch to finish with five for 61 from 25 overs of unremitting effort.

Without his contribution, Sussex's acting captain Chris Nash may have been left to rue his decision to exercise the away team's right to bowl first.

The morning had seen Leicestershire openers Horton and Harry Dearden bat through a rain-interrupted session during which only 17 overs were possible without being parted.

Once the shower clouds had cleared, however, Archer struck twice in a spell of eight consecutive overs from the Bennett End, during which he conceded only 11 runs.

He dismissed Dearden with a quick, rising delivery which seamed away from the left-hander, Chris Jordan holding a smart catch to his left at first slip, and produced a similar ball which took the shoulder of Colin Ackermann's bat to give Stiaan van Zyl a simple catch at third slip.

Cosgrove then had to fight hard to preserve his wicket, and was fortunate to survive after being squared up on a number of occasions, but once Archer came out of the attack, the Australian played with fluency and freedom, hitting eight boundaries in reaching his 50 off just 70 balls.

At the other end, the experienced Horton dug in, taking 126 balls to reach his own half-century, but was bowled driving loosely at an Archer delivery that seamed back to hit the top of off-stump.

Ned Eckersley was caught at mid-on trying to hit spinner Danny Briggs out of the attack, and both Mark Pettini and Tom Wells looked to be beaten by pace as they were trapped lbw by Archer.

Cosgrove stood firm, however, reaching his century off 144 balls, and with Archer finally tiring, Chappell's late contribution saw the Foxes through to a third batting bonus point.