Sussex face a mammoth task to keep their unbeaten record in the Championship intact after a brilliant century from Sam Robson hammered home Middlesex’s advantage on day two at Hove.
Robson scored 166 and featured in century stands with Joe Denly (77) and Neil Dexter (48) as Middlesex reached 445-5 at the close, a lead of 216.
It proved a frustrating day for the Sussex bowlers on another sweltering day, particularly for Chris Jordan,with Middlesex adding more than 400 runs to their overnight score of 44-0.
The visitors will look to stretch their lead further tomorrow and Sussex will need to bat a lot better than they did in the first innings – when they were dismissed for 229 – if they are to save this game.
Their hopes will not be helped by the arrival of Steven Finn to bolster the Middlesex attack after he was left out of the England team for the second Ashes Test at Lord’s.
He replaces Gurjit Sandhu in the Middlesex side and will be a real handful on a pitch which is still offering plenty of pace and bounce.
The day had started quite positively for Sussex with James Anyon making an early breakthrough by having Dawid Malan caught behind after adding only five runs to his overnight 27.
It proved to be their only success before lunch, however, as Joe Denly and Sam Robson put on a century partnership for the second wicket.
Denly brought up his 50 – from 64 balls - by pulling Chris Jordan for four while Robson’s took 99 deliveries.
Denly fell for 77 straight after lunch when Steve Magoffin had him caught at short leg by Nash – who had dropped him off the same bowler when Denly was on 31.
Adam Voges added 50 with Robson to take Middlesex past Sussex’s total of 229 before skying a mistimed pull to give Anyon his second wicket.
Robson went on to bring up his century – off 183 balls – by pulling an out of sorts Monty Panesar to the boundary.
Neil Dexter then went on the attack by launching Panesar and Nash for sixes to bring up the 300 for Middlesex as they reached tea on 308-3.
The arrival of the new ball eventually did for Dexter as he drove at a ball from Magoffin which nipped back and knocked out his off stump.
Robson went on to bring up his 150 from 245 balls by driving Jordan for four before being bowled by Panesar for 166 having hit the England spinner for six the previous ball.
His departure did not bring much respite for Sussex, however, as John Simpson and Gareth Berg put on 51 for the sixth wicket to take Middlesex to 445-5 at the close.