County Championship: Sussex openers hold off Foxes after Mark Pettini's ton

Ed Joyce
Ed Joyce passed 17,000 first-class runs during his unbeaten half-century
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, 1st Central County Ground
Sussex v Leicestershire, day three
Sussex 163 & 113-0: Joyce 62*, Nash 45*
Leicestershire 473-8d: Pettini 142*, Horton 100, Cosgrove 80; Magoffin 3-58
Leicestershire lead by 197 runs
Leicestershire 7 pts, Sussex 1 pt
Match scorecard

Ed Joyce's unbeaten half-century saw Sussex hold off Leicestershire after Mark Pettiti's hundred on day three.

The visitors resumed on 300-4 at Hove as Pettini and Niall O'Brien (55) shared a 143-run fifth-wicket stand.

Steve Magoffin (3-58) had O'Brien caught behind, as the Foxes lost four wickets for 10 runs before declaring on 473-8, with Pettini unbeaten on 142.

Sussex openers Joyce and Chris Nash batted vigilantly as the hosts closed on 113-0, still trailing by 197 runs.

Leicestershire suffered a late blow when captain Mark Cosgrove was forced off the field after picking up a hip injury.

Sussex captain Ben Brown told BBC Sussex:

"Ed Joyce and Chris Nash showed great character to bat 39 overs and get us back in the game and for Ed to pass 17,000 runs is an amazing achievement, he is everything you want from a top order batsman.

"We're not hiding from the fact that we batted poorly on the first day. To be fair, the ball seamed about a bit but it has flattened out since and we still have loads of work to do to save the game.

"We have to build partnerships and set ourselves small targets and tick them off. A few of us have been light on runs so far this season and it's important we put that right."

Leicestershire batsman Mark Pettini told BBC Radio Leicester:

"It was a really enjoyable innings for me personally, but the most important thing was to help us get a big lead which has put us in a good position.

"We wanted to give ourselves about 125 overs to try and get Sussex out. It's a good wicket so the same basics we showed in the first innings apply again - hitting line and length and being disciplined.

"They are still nearly 200 behind and there is some turn for [off-spinner] Jigar Naik so he will have a big part to play in keeping an end closed and the seamers fresh at the other end.

"We need to go hard at Sussex again in the morning and see what happens."

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