John Simpson is Leicestershire nemesis again with unbeaten 180

John Simpson acknowledges his fifty Getty Images

Sussex 431 for 7 (Simpson 180*, Carter 96, McAndrew 51* Holland 3-60) vs Leicestershire

Sussex captain John Simpson scored his third century of the season as he took control of a difficult situation against Leicestershire on the opening day of this second division county championship match at Hove.

Leicestershire must be sick of the sight of Simpson, whose other two hundred came at Leicester, an unbeaten 205, and at his former home ground of Lord's (167), so this was his first big score in front of his new supporters - and it was a crowd boosted by the club's decision to grant spectators free admission.

This time, coming in at 34 for 3, he scored a chanceless 180 not out in a Sussex total of 431 for 7, batting almost all day and hitting 29 fours from his 251 deliveries. But Oli Carter was arguably the real Sussex hero of the day. A gifted ball-striker but one whose keeping skills are not as good as Simpson's, he lost his place in the side with the latter's arrival, and this was his first appearance since the opening match of the season. He came in to open the batting for the injured Daniel Hughes and put on 156 with Simpson for the fourth wicket in just 34 overs. His 96 came off 142 balls, with 15 fours and a six off Scott Currie, flicked off his legs and onto the east-side scoreboard. He was caught and bowled by Currie attempting a hook that would have given him only his second fist-class century.

When Leicestershire won the toss it looked a very good one to win. There was a pronounced green tinge to the pitch and the bright morning sunshine had given way to a heavy cloud cover, which lent humidity to the conditions.

It should have been an even better start for the Foxes. Tom Haines had not scored when he edged the tall left-arm seamer Josh Hull only for Currie to spill the straightforward catch at third slip. But Holland, opening the bowling from the sea end, made up for that when he struck twice in four balls in the sixth over.

First, he had Haines caught at second slip by Louis Kimber, moving sharply to his right. And the same combination accounted for Tom Alsop, with Kimber, on this occasion, taking a low catch. Holland bowled particularly well to the left-handers. Bowling round the wicket and wide of the crease, he slanted the ball into the stumps and then moved it away in the direction of his three slips.

Sussex lost their third wicket at 34 when James Coles, dropped on four, added just five runs before he was caught down the leg-side to give Holland his third wicket. The Wisconsin-born Holland is one of county cricket's more interesting players, having been given his first chance with Victoria, after winning a reality TV show in Australia. The all-rounder is on loan to Leicestershire from Hampshire.

But Simpson, who promoted himself to No 5 in a rejigged batting order, then took charge with Carter. The lunch score was 84 for three after 29 overs but against some ragged bowling and shoddy fielding - four catches went down - Sussex, who are top of the table with three wins, ran amok in he afternoon session, when they scored 197 runs.

Carter was fourth out at 190. Then Fynn Hudson-Prentice was brilliantly caught by Peter Handscomb at slip for a quick-fire 26 and when Danny Lamb was surprised by Currie's bounce Leicestershire (third in the table after drawing all seven games) looked back in it at 260 for 6. But Jack Carson, dropped twice on the way to 25, and Nathan McAndrew (51 not out) helped put Sussex well on top at the close.

Leics 4th innings Partnerships

1st57IG HollandRK Patel
2nd48IG HollandLJ Hill
3rd9IG HollandLP Goldsworthy
4th5PSP HandscombLP Goldsworthy
5th16PWA MulderLP Goldsworthy
6th9PWA MulderSW Currie
7th31PWA MulderLPJ Kimber
8th239OB CoxLPJ Kimber
9th21LPJ KimberBWM Mike
10th10LPJ KimberJ Hull