Morris's major knock

Sussex came within two wickets of taking over at the top of the County Championship's second division in a tense affair here that had fluctuated throughout a fascinating day.

Sussex came within two wickets of taking over at the top of the County Championship's second division in a tense affair here that had fluctuated throughout a fascinating day.

Nottinghamshire at least made a fist of chasing the 407 runs they had been set for victory, but despite two fine hundreds from John Morris and Jason Gallian and a nervy half-century from Usman Afzaal, they were ultimately pulled up 28 runs short of their target and were made to settle for a draw.

The foundations for the tight finish had been laid by a third-wicket stand of 222 in 52 overs between Nottinghamshire captain Gallian and Morris.

Both men reached their centuries, Gallian arriving at his in stately fashion, in contrast to Morris, whose hundred was the 50th in his first class career.

But thanks to Sussex's left-arm spinner, Umer Rashid, and paceman, James Kirtley, the Nottinghamshire bid was thwarted, the match petering out. But it had been marvellous entertainment. Gallian's was his first hundred since September last year and was far more prudently taken than his partner's, occupying, as it did, more than four watchful hours.

Morris, in contrast, fairly raced to three figures in two and three quarter hours with a six and 15 fours. He has now passed 50 on 150 occasions, he scored 76 in the first innings of this match and he has now turned exactly one-third of those into hundreds.

On a pitch that has yielded not far short of 1,500 runs the performance of the Sussex bowlers should be applauded. Rashid accounted for Gallian, bowling him when he had equalled his highest score, 120, for Nottinghamshire, Darren Bicknell, Paul Johnson and David Millns, for his best return of the season to date.

James Kirtley nagged away after getting the Sussex cause off to a great start by dismissing Guy Welton with the fourth delivery of the morning and was rewarded by taking the wicket of Morris shortly after tea, a blow from which Nottinghamshire never recovered.

After Afzaal was bowled by Jason Lewry and Rashid had caught Chris Read's swat to deep mid-off it was left to Andrew Harris and Paul Reiffel to steer them to a draw and four more valuable points.

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