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Lewis makes dream start to put Sussex in control
Jon Lewis made a dream start to life at Hove to put Sussex in the driving seat after the first day of their opening County Championship game of the season against Middlesex.
The former England seamer took 4-34 in his first four-day game for Sussex following his winter switch from Surrey as Middlesex collapsed to 105 all out.
Matt Prior was unbeaten on 32 as Sussex reached 86-3 in reply when bad light stopped play with 19 overs still to bowl.
Lewis claimed the wickets of Neil Dexter, Eoin Morgan, Dawid Malan and Adam Rossington in a seven over burst after lunch to rip the heart out of the Middlesex batting.
Steve Magoffin chipped in with 3-21 and Ashar Zaidi 2-10 while Malan finished as top scorer for Middlesex with 35.
Sussex lost Ed Joyce (12), Luke Wells (4) and Mike Yardy (17) cheaply in reply but Prior and Matt Machan (21 not out) steadied the ship with an unbroken partnership of 44.
Sussex removed Middlesex’s dangerous openers Chris Rogers and Sam Robson before lunch after play was delayed for an hour.
Rogers edged Steve Magoffin to Steffan Piolet in the slips for four while Robson was caught behind off the bowling of Jimmy Anyon for 11.
That left the visitors 40-2 at lunch and their situation got rapidly worse in the afternoon as Lewis switched to the Cromwell Road end.
The former England seamer removed Dexter for six and then bowled Morgan first ball before also claiming the scalps of Malan and Rossington in a spell of 4-12 in seven overs.
Magoffin returned to remove John Simpson for two to leave Middlesex 73-7 before Zaidi bowled James Harris first ball and then had Tim Murtagh caught on the boundary.
Toby Roland-Jones ensured the visitors at least made it to 100 before he was bowled by Magoffin for 17 – the second highest score of the innings.
Sussex discovered just how difficult it was to bat in the conditions as they lost openers Ed Joyce and Luke Wells cheaply in reply.
Joyce was bowled by Ireland team-mate Murtagh for 12 in the third over with Wells edging Harris to third slip having scored just four.
Murtagh also trapped Mike Yardy lbw for 17 and it could have been worse for Sussex had Roland-Jones not dropped Prior when he had made just ten off the bowling of Steven Finn.
Prior made the most of that reprieve to move on to 32 not out from 37 balls – including two fours off one over from Finn who was taken out of the attack after just four overs – while Machan was unbeaten on 21 from 22 balls.
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