Sussex hit by Hales storm

Alex Hales bludgeoned his first County Championship century in nearly two years as Nottinghamshire took control against Sussex at Hove.

While England toiled to 219 all out against Sri Lanka at Edgbaston, Hales blitzed 167 from 133 balls to show the one-day side what they are missing.

Sussex's Ed Joyce turned an overnight 104 into an unbeaten 164 in his side's first-innings total of 355 all out, but it was Hales' big hitting that dominated proceedings.

Nottinghamshire closed the third day with a commanding 404-run lead, after declaring on 336 for four in their second innings.

Sussex will resume on 29 without loss on the final day, resolved to bat through to secure a draw.

Hales' first four-day century since hitting 155 against Warwickshire in August 2012 included a mammoth boundary return of 18 fours and six sixes.

The 25-year-old became the first England player to fire a century in Twenty20 action in March with 116 against Sri Lanka, but was overlooked for the summer's five ODIs against the same opponents.

Nottinghamshire sent Hales on loan to Worcestershire last month, to help the short-format specialist find some four-day form.

Recalled after just one match of an intended month-long spell, Hales vehemently quashed any notion of being out of touch on Tuesday: 108 of his 167 runs came in boundaries.

England take on India in five ODIs in September, with calls likely to continue for Hales' inclusion after this howitzer innings.

Sussex resumed their first innings on 270 for eight at the start of the third day, Joyce quickly back into the groove.

Jon Lewis fell for 38, caught by Hales off Andre Adams after sharing in a 117-run stand with centurion Joyce.

Matthew Hobden hung around long enough to allow Joyce to turn Sussex's 333 for nine into the final 355 total.

Adams trapped Hobden leg before for a duck from three balls, completing Sussex's innings, with Joyce able to pass his 150 milestone in the process.

Adams proved the pick of the Nottinghamshire bowlers, returning figures of five for 65.

Nottinghamshire settled to their second innings without fuss, Phil Jaques sharing a century stand with Hales before departing on 39, clean bowled by Chris Nash.

Michael Lumb could only manage 13 before succumbing to Hobden, caught by Rory Hamilton-Brown, as Nottinghamshire reached 169 for two.

Hales' whirlwind innings finally came to an end when Nash drew a catch from Luke Wright, with Nottinghamshire on 251 for three.

Samit Patel had conjured 156 in Nottingham's first innings, but could find no repeat, making 19 before James Anyon had him caught by Matt Prior.

James Taylor then hit an unbeaten 65 with Riki Wessels 20 not out when Nottinghamshire declared on 336 for four, leading by 433 runs.

That handed the hosts a tricky half-hour, but openers Luke Wells and Nash survived until the close.