|LV= County Championship Division One, Wantage Road|
|Close, day one: Sussex 300-7 v Northants|
|Northants 2pts; Sussex 3pts|
Luke Wells top-scored with 81 as Sussex recovered from a shaky start to end day one on top against relegated Northants.
Muhammad Azharullah (3-68) removed Chris Nash and in-form Ed Joyce to reduce the visitors to 7-2 before Wells and Michael Yardy came together.
Yardy was caught in the slips for 56 off Olly Stone (2-38) and Wells fell three balls later when he edged behind attempting to cut.
Sussex reached 300-7 by the close of play, with Ashar Zaidi 54 not out.
Earlier, Azharullah - Northants' leading wicket-taker this season - dismissed Sussex's two top run-scorers, Joyce and Luke Wright, cheaply to put the hosts on top at Wantage Road.
The visitors were grateful to Wells and Yardy, who shared a steady partnership of 96 on a slow pitch.
|Northants' unwanted record|
|Although already relegated from Division One, Northants are looking to avoid becoming the County Championship's lowest-ever point-scorers, needing 19 points to pass the 88.5 points recorded by Glamorgan in 2005.|
Ben Brown (48) continued where Yardy left off before Steve Magoffin (20 not out) helped Zaidi take Sussex to stumps.
Sussex coach Mark Robinson:
"It was a good toss to win, and with a score on the board of 300 we are in the game."
VIEW FROM THE COMMENTARY BOX
BBC Radio Northampton's Chris Egerton:
"The new ball is vital on this pitch and, while Muhammad Azharullah has a lively spell in him, Sussex will be content going into day two.
"Olly Stone got more deviation than most bowlers after lunch, but Michael Yardy and Luke Wells's partnership helped to shore up Sussex's position.
"A good rearguard has left Sussex with the advantage overnight, and Magoffin, who took eight wickets against Northants at Hove in July, will relish bowling on this surface."