Brown and Joyce lead Sussex recovery
Ben Brown and Ed Joyce led a spirited fightback after Middlesex had threatened to bowl Sussex out cheaply at Lord's in LV= County Championship Division One.
Tim Murtagh took three early wickets with the new ball after Sussex skipper Michael Yardy had won the toss and elected to bat, finishing with figures of 4-41.
Steven Finn also picked up two wickets as Sussex slumped to 66 for five before Joyce and Brown began the recovery. Finn, by the close, had 3-65.
Joyce made 77 in a partnership of 81 with Brown, who went on to add 63 with Naveed Arif Gondal before falling for 70 as Sussex reached 242 for eight by the end of play. Gondal made 38.
Murtagh put Sussex on the back foot, producing an impressive opening spell.
Chris Nash went for a duck off the second ball of the match when he edged a delivery that bounced and left him to wicketkeeper John Simpson.
Murtagh then removed Joe Gatting and Murray Goodwin in the space of four balls to leave Sussex rocking at 16 for three.
Gatting got an inside edge on to his pad with the ball carrying to Ollie Rayner at second slip while Goodwin's poor run continued as he nicked his fourth ball to Dawid Malan at second slip for a duck.
Yardy then chased a wide one from Gareth Berg and was caught by Finn for eight, meaning four of Sussex's top five had failed to get into double figures.
The in-form Luke Wright struck three quick boundaries before paying for a lack of footwork as he was caught behind off Finn for 14.
Joyce had one reprieve when former Sussex team-mate Rayner was unable to hold on to a sharp chance at second slip when on 33.
The Ireland international piled on the runs with Brown before gloving a catch down the leg side to Simpson off Finn. His innings lasted 174 balls and included 10 fours.
Brown continued to frustrate the home bowlers with Gondal, bringing up his first half-century of the season off 127 balls with five fours.
Middlesex ended the day well as the arrival of the new ball saw Finn remove Brown and Gondal fall to Murtagh after a short break for rain.