Cross ton's keeps Lancashire in control of Sussex

LV County Championship Division One, Hove
Close of play, day two: Sussex 97-4 v Lancashire 590
Lancashire 5pts, Sussex 2pts
Match scorecard
Live commentary
Gareth Cross
Cross's only previous century was also on the South Coast at The Rose Bowl

Gareth Cross hit a career-best 125 as early County Championship leaders Lancashire again dominated on day two against Sussex at Hove.

The Lancashire wicketkeeper shared a 129-run stand with Luke Procter (89) as the visitors piled up 590.

Lancashire then made inroads in the final session to reduce Sussex to 97-4 at the close.

Spinner Gary Keedy struck twice as Sussex closed needing another 344 runs to avoid the follow-on.

Having won their first two County Championship matches by an innings, Lancashire are again in a strong position thanks to the joint-16th highest score in their 146-year history- and their best since 2006.

After resuming on 322-6, Peter Moores' men added a further 268 runs in just 62.4 overs against his former county as the Sussex bowlers struggled on a flat pitch.

Sussex did not take a wicket until 10 minutes after the interval when Procter, on 26 overnight, was sharply caught at slip off the bowling of Monty Panesar.

Panesar was by some way the most economical bowler in the Sussex attack, but even he came in for heavy punishment at times. On five occasions, the left-handed Procter hit him over the short leg-side boundary for six.

It seemed that, after Paul Horton (78) and Karl Brown (88) on the first day, no Lancashire batsman would reach three figures.

But Cross put that right, hitting 13 fours (including an edge off Naved Arif to reach his century) and five sixes in his 195-ball innings.

When Sussex batted they gave Lancashire a helping hand which the away side hardly needed, two of the four dismissed batsmen getting out without playing a shot.

CLOSE OF PLAY SUMMARIES:

BBC Radio Lancashire's Liam Bradford:

"Lancashire proved once again that they aren't the relegation prospects that certain corners were touting them to be.

"A brilliant knock from Gareth Cross proved that if you give your youngsters a chance they'll do some damage.

"The pitch looked to be doing very little but it was the discipline and self belief from the Lancashire side that proved to be the difference. They bowled and batted with discipline."

BBC Radio 5Live's Kevin Howells:

"With 73 years of age between them, Glen Chapple and Gary Keedy put on a men against boys show towards the end of another excellent day for Lancashire.

"All set up for them by clean hitting from Luke Proctor, Gareth Cross and the skipper himself.

"It was as if another pitch had been laid. But, all season so far, up and down the country, middle order batting has turned games around and Sussex have the batsmen to do just that."