Former England Under-19 captain Max Holden underlined his rich potential with his first championship fifty for Middlesex against Sussex at Hove on Friday.

A spirited bowling performance by Sussex had dominated the morning after Middlesex had chosen to bat.

Middlesex hobbled to lunch on 81-5, with seamer Ollie Robinson taking all the wickets.

But Holden, 20, who made his first-class debut on loan to Northants last year, led the resistance in the afternoon with an unbeaten 69, though he was dropped at slip by Harry Finch on 28.

Holden and John Simpson added 56 in 18 overs for the sixth wicket before Simpson was caught on the deep midwicket boundary off Danny Briggs.

That became 135-7 when James Harris was caught at point off the same bowler for a single, and Ollie Rayner was soon lbw, half-forward, to give Robinson his sixth wicket.

But Holden hit six fours in his 77-ball half century, three of them in one Briggs over.