Leicestershire enjoyed a dream first day against Sussex in their Specsavers County Championship Division Two game at Hove, dismissing their hosts for 163 before making a confident reply which took them to 140 for 2 at stumps.
Sussex’s batting fell apart with a succession of soft dismissals during the afternoon session when they lost seven wickets for 33 runs in 12 overs including three in five balls.
Ed Joyce made 56 and Ross Taylor 36 and when they added 76 either side of lunch for the third wicket Sussex looked capable of making good use of a decent batting pitch after winning the toss.
Their problems began shortly after lunch when Taylor tried to pull out of an attempted hook as Charlie Shreck dropped short and gave a thin edge to Niall O’Brien, one of five catches in the innings for the Leicestershire wicketkeeper.
Their decline gathered pace in the 46th over when Luke Wells (23), who had begun positively, picked out mid-wicket and three overs later Joyce, who had played fluently for his second half-century of the season, was strangled down the leg side by Wayne White.
White’s next over fatally holed the Sussex batting as three wickets fell in five balls.
O’Brien produced a superb diving catch when Robinson clipped another ball down the leg side, Ajmal Shahzad was run out by Neil Dexter’s throw from the covers when he was sent back by Ben Brown looking to get off the mark first ball before Brown, driving loosely outside off stump, was held by O’Brien.
Sussex had lost five wickets for 12 runs as they slumped to 142 for 8 and although George Garton and Danny Briggs managed to cobble together 21 runs together the innings ended in the 58th over when Ben Raine’s late away movement accounted for Garton (14) and Steve Magoffin (0).
It completed an excellent day for the promising Raine, who had dismissed Chris Nash (4) and Matt Machan (4) with the new ball during a testing spell in the first hour. He finished with 4 for 30 from 15 overs and got consistent seam movement.
Sussex did make an early breakthrough when Angus Robson (1) lost his middle stump as an attempted cut cannoned off his inside edge but Horton and Dexter showed their experience in putting on 100 for the second wicket with relatively few alarms.
Brown rung the changes in an attempt to find a breakthrough but his seamers lacked the control shown by their opponents until Dexter (28) was leg before to Robinson the ball after he’d received lengthy treatment when he was hit on the glove.
Horton’s unbeaten 71 came off 102 balls with 10 fours as he and skipper Mark Cosgrove (20) put on 33 for the third wicket.
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