Middlesex and Sussex both eyeing victory

Close, day two: Middlesex 269 & 126-6 lead Sussex 192 by 203 runs

Middlesex ended another bowler-dominated day at Hove still hoping to claim their third Championship win on the trot.

Just as on Sunday, 13 wickets fell but this time the day was cut short with 21 overs still to bowl after sea mist enveloped the ground.

The visitors bowled Sussex out for 192, with James Harris (3-79) once again the pick of their attack, and held a first-innings lead of 77.

They were looking healthy on 56-1 at one stage but lost wickets in clumps to allow the hosts back into the match.

Sussex had resumed on 66-3 but Middlesex reduced them 110-6 after the first hour, although nightwatchman Steve Magoffin stuck around to put on 41 with Ben Brown.

Magoffin was removed by Harris as Sussex reached lunch on 163-8 and just as Brown (46) looked on course to make the first half-century of the match, he fell trying to sweep Ollie Rayner (pictured).

A run-out in the next over ended the innings and gave Middlesex a decent lead, one which they built on despite the early loss of Nick Gubbins.

Sam Robson and Nick Compton put on 49 to leave the visitors ahead by 133 but three wickets in four overs, including a golden duck for James Franklin, gave Sussex a boost.

Adam Voges (21) and Neil Dexter (16) then added a further 34 but both fell either side of tea, to leave Middlesex on 103-6.

Rayner’s unbeaten 19 helped take the lead past 200 before the weather closed in, with the runs of the tailenders – plus their effectiveness with the ball – set to play a big part in deciding the match.

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