Sussex extended their lead at the top of division one of the County Championship after surviving a nervous final day against Nottinghamshire at Hove.

Sussex looked in danger of suffering a first defeat of the season when they were reduced to 112-5 with 35 overs still remaining.

But Ben Brown and Chris Jordan steered the home side to safety by batting together for 23 overs as Sussex reached 223-6 at the close.

The result moves them eight points clear of Yorkshire at the top of the table ahead of their clash with Middlesex – the only other undefeated team in the division - at Lord’s on Wednesday.

Nottinghamshire took advantage of some sloppy fielding from Sussex to add 26 to their overnight score of 304-9 and virtually remove any chance of a Sussex win.

Harry Gurney was dropped by Monty Panesar and Rory Hamilton-Brown before Paul Franks was bowled for 78 the ball after smashing Luke Wright for six.

That left Sussex requiring 381 to win from 89 overs but their main ambition appeared to be trying to bat out the draw from the way they approached their innings.

Their hopes of maintaining an unbeaten start to the season took a blow as they lost Luke Wells and Mike Yardy before lunch.

Wells was caught behind for 11 trying to cut Luke Fletcher while Yardy departed in the same manner for 14 as Franks nipped one away from him off the seam.

Ed Joyce and Chris Nash put on 40 in 21 overs for the third wicket until Joyce edged a ball from Gurney behind having made 20.

Nash’s 163-ball innings came to an end when Ajmal Shazad got one to nip back and remove his leg stump and Sussex’s plight got worse when Luke Wright chipped a catch to square leg off the same bowler nine balls later.

When Rory Hamilton-Brown fell shortly after tea – bowled by the impressive Shazad - Sussex were wobbling on 153-6 and still had 23 overs to get through.

But Brown and Jordan eased any nerves as they held Notts at bay by putting on 70 for the seventh wicket.

Jordan survived two big caught behind appeals when still on nought to score an unbeaten 28 from 72 balls while Brown batted superbly to make 51 not out from 100 balls.