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Saif Zaib, Adam Rossington hand Northamptonshire healthy first-innings lead

Adam Rossington and Saif Zaib got among the runs for Northamptonshire Getty Images

Sussex 106 and 154 for 4 (van Zyl 71*) trail Northamptonshire 441 for 9 declared (Zaib 135, Keogh 87, Robinson 5-58) by 181 runs

Saif Zaib posted a wonderful maiden first-class century before Ben Sanderson and Gareth Berg once again knocked over the Sussex top order in the LV= Insurance County Championship.

Talented left-hander Zaib, who has been at Northamptonshire since he was 15, collected a commanding 135 as he and Adam Rossington, 87, put on 198 together to help the hosts to a massive 335-run first-innings lead.

Sanderson and Berg, who shared all 10 of the first-innings wickets equally, then claimed two scalps apiece to leave Sussex 68 for 4.

But Stiaan van Zyl's stylish 71 not out helped Sussex recover to 154 for 4 by the close at Wantage Road, still 181 runs behind Northants.

Northants added 227 runs in 51 overs as Zaib, Rossington, Berg and Tom Taylor all found scoring simple against a largely toothless attack.

The caveat to that was Ollie Robinson. The quick wouldn't have done his England Test hopes any harm in front of ECB Performance Director Mo Bobat as he looked a constant threat during his 5 for 58 - the 16th five-for of his career.

Zaib and Rossington were the morning protagonists as their partnership grew to 198, one short of the county sixth-wicket record against Sussex.

Milestones came in rapid succession as the skipper reached his third half-century in five innings this season in 90 balls, before Zaib converted to a hundred in 176 balls.

They fell either side of the second new ball as Zaib was lbw sweeping and Rossington miscued a pull to mid-on, with Wayne Parnell falling quickly after to give Robinson his fifth.

But Taylor and Berg crashed Northants over the 400-run batting point mark in a 63-run blast, before the former smashed 21 in two overs, after Berg had fallen, to bring the declaration on 416 for 9.

Faced with a long task to reach parity, Sussex began their second innings with intent but soon collapsed to 68 for 4 in the face of Berg and Sanderson.

First-innings golden duck casualty Tom Haines raced to 18 off 17 before he expansively slashed Berg to a juggling Taylor at second slip.

Aaron Thomason edged Sanderson thickly to fourth slip, Australian debutant Travis Head under edged a Berg short ball behind and Tom Clark saw his off-stump bail flicked off by Sanderson.

South African van Zyl was dropped guiding to fourth slip on 19 but was otherwise at ease with Ben Brown, with a penchant for cover and straight drives. It was therefore little surprise that his 91-ball half-century was brought up with a beautifully timed straight drive, as he and Brown's partnership blossomed to 86 by the end of play.

Sussex 3rd innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
1st24TJ HainesAD Thomason
2nd10S van ZylAD Thomason
3rd21S van ZylTM Head
4th13S van ZylTGR Clark
5th91BC BrownS van Zyl
6th1BC BrownDMW Rawlins
7th9BC BrownOE Robinson
8th25SC MeakerOE Robinson
9th11OE RobinsonJJ Carson
10th10JJ CarsonJP Sarro

County Championship

Division 1
TeamMWLDPT
HANTS320150
NOTTS321047
LANCS311138
YORKS311137
WARKS311134
SOM30308
Division 2
TeamMWLDPT
ESSEX320158
GLOUC321044
DURH210137
NHNTS311135
SURR201114
GLAM303010
Division 3
TeamMWLDPT
KENT330064
MIDDX330064
LEICS311140
WORCS312026
DERBS302118
SUSS303013
Group 1
TeamMWLDPT
NOTTS10424151
WARKS10415145
DURH10325132
ESSEX10325129
WORCS10136109
DERBS1005572
Group 2
TeamMWLDPT
SOM10415148
HANTS10424145
GLOUC10532131
SURR10226123
LEICS10244111
MIDDX1027184
Group 3
TeamMWLDPT
LANCS10415150
YORKS10514149
GLAM10226127
NHNTS10334123
KENT1003797
SUSS1015494