Patel puts Notts in control

Samit Patel's century earned Nottinghamshire a strong position after the first day of their County Championship clash against Sussex at Hove.

Patel, out of favour at England level, has been in sparkling form for his county and finished the day unbeaten on 142 - his second Championship hundred of the season to go with four half-centuries.

He was backed up by half-centuries from Phil Jaques and skipper Chris Read, who was also unbeaten at the close in a partnership standing at 160 with Nottinghamshire 408 for five.

The visitors were put into bat as Sussex captain Ed Joyce failed, as it turned out, to make the most of winning the toss.

An opening stand of 74 between Jaques and Alex Hales was a sign of things to come, the former one short of his fifty when Hales was caught at slip by Ben Brown off James Anyon for 16.

Jaques was joined by Michael Lumb and a single in the next over took the Australian to a 60-ball half-century.

He brought up the team's hundred with his 11th boundary but added just a pair of singles before, on 67, edging debutant Matthew Hobden to England wicketkeeper Matt Prior.

Lumb was playing a patient innings and he and James Taylor ensured lunch arrived with no further loss at 111 for two.

The pair went on to share in a stand of 49 before Lumb was caught by Prior off the bowling of Luke Wright for 39, from 90 balls with seven fours.

Taylor added 45 with Patel before falling to Hobden (two for 99), caught by Anyon for 29, and Riki Wessels made just 11 before driving Wright (two for 31) to Luke Wells in the covers.

Patel, who had one escape on 32 when Brown put down a difficult half-chance at slip, reached a 64-ball half-century from the last ball before tea.

With the score standing at 259 for five Sussex would have hoped to continue their momentum and make quick inroads upon the resumption.

Those hopes were dashed, though, as the evening brought only further progress for Patel and Read.

The wicketkeeper was scoring the quicker of the two in the early part of the session, taking three boundaries off Chris Nash to follow one off Steve Magoffin.

Patel was making relatively sedate progress towards three figures but hit fours in successive overs from Magoffin and Anyon as he moved into the eighties.

After passing 90, though, he wasted little time as two boundaries off Magoffin took him to a 137-ball century before he celebrated with a third.

Read hit Hobden for four to bring up his half-century, from 70 balls with seven fours, and the young seamer's next over brought four boundaries for Patel as he looked to accelerate towards the close.

The all-rounder smashed 41 runs from the 27 balls he faced between reaching his ton and stumps being drawn, with Read also going nicely on 61 from 98 balls.