Sussex overcame the loss of England seamer Ollie Robinson to illness and dismissed Leicestershire for just 210 on the opening day of their LV= Insurance County Championship match at the UptonSteel County Ground.
Robinson managed just a single over at half pace before leaving the field with suspected food poisoning, but the Sussex attack responded impressively with Henry Crocombe and Aaron Beard both taking three wickets and left-arm spinner Delray Rawlins claiming two.
It took a battling display from Leicestershire’s lower order to secure a single batting bonus point for the hosts, who in six first innings this season have passed 300 only once.
Left-arm spinner Callum Parkinson then struck in the final over, having Sussex opener Tom Alsop caught at slip as the visitors finished on 39 for one to give Leicestershire hope going forward.
Robinson’s early departure did not seem to trouble the Sussex bowlers, who tied down Leicestershire openers Hassan Azad and Sam Evans before the latter pushed at a delivery from Crocombe he might have left, edging a straightforward catch to Tom Clark at second slip.
Azad, in partnership with Rishi Patel, looked set to see the home side through until lunch before pushing a delivery from Rawlins into the offside and – having raised an interrogatory hand – being called for a single by Patel.
It proved to be an ill-judged risk and Alsop, running from slip towards back point, got his throw back to Rawlins in time to beat the Foxes’ opener home.
Matters did not improve for Leicestershire after the interval. Patel edged a lifting delivery from Beard to second slip before Colin Ackermann chopped Tom Haines into his stumps to leave the hosts on 104 for four.
Lewis Hill tried to force the pace, reaching 35 at a run a ball before top-edging a cut at Crocombe high down to third man, where Archie Lenham held an outstanding catch a foot or so off the ground.
Harry Swindells went quickly, leg before to a Rawlins delivery that hit him on the back leg, while the in-form Ben Mike tried to force a Crocombe delivery off the back foot before he had scored, succeeding only in edging to first slip.
Wiaan Mulder was the next to be removed, the South Africa international caught behind the wicket down the legside trying to help a Rawlins delivery to the boundary.
Parkinson and Chris Wright enjoyed a degree of success, putting together a partnership of 49 for the ninth wicket before Wright went leg before to Crocombe.
Beuran Hendricks also gave Parkinson worthwhile support before top-edging a pull to be caught at deep square leg with Leicestershire all out for a low score.
Alsop’s dismissal brought some late cheer for the hosts, with Haines unbeaten on 22.