July 12, 2003

Surrey march on as Sussex stay in touch

Wisden CricInfo staff

Frizzell County Championship Division One

Middlesex 620 for 7 dec and 166 for 2 beat Leicestershire 447 and 335 by eight wickets at Southgate
Andrew Strauss demonstrated what Middlesex have learned from the Twenty20 Cup, as his 73 from 67 balls provided the impetus for an exciting eight-wicket victory over Leicestershire at Southgate. A draw had seemed the likely outcome after Middlesex had been set an ambitious target of 163 from a maximum of 27 overs, but Strauss found the gaps and worked the strike, and was well supported by Ed Joyce in an unbeaten 82-run partnership for the third wicket. It was tough luck on Leicestershire, who had done well to set a competitive target after being forced to follow on. Their heroes were Darren Maddy and Brad Hodge, whose 176-run third-wicket stand had carried Leicestershire into credit. Maddy was eventually bowled by Paul Weekes six short of his century, but Hodge went on to make an excellent 112, before Jeremy Snape added an attritional 40 not out to ensure a thrilling run-chase.

Sussex 359 and 257 for 4 beat Essex 340 and 274 by six wickets at Arundel
Tony Cottey fell two runs short of his second century of the match, but his 98 - and an unbeaten 93 from Tim Ambrose - ensured that Sussex won their third match in succession to maintain the pressure on Surrey at the top of County Championship. Cottey and Ambrose made light work of a target of 256, adding 172 for the fourth wicket after Jon Dakin and James Middlebrook had ensured a ropey start to the run-chase. Sussex owed their position to a five-wicket haul from Jason Lewry, who cleaned up three of Essex's four remaining second-innings wickets in the morning session.

Surrey 355 and 450 for 5 dec beat Warwickshire 245 and 425 by 135 runs at Edgbaston
Dougie Brown's defiant 56 kept Surrey in the field until the final afternoon, but in the end Warwickshire were unable to resist the wiles of Saqlain Mushtaq, who picked up second-innings figures of 5 for 134 to secure a 135-run victory at Edgbaston. Warwickshire had been set an improbable target of 561, and after resuming on 304 for 5, they did well to manage as much as 425 - their highest-ever fourth-innings total. Brown, though, had to make a lone stand after Tony Frost was bowled by Saqlain in the ninth over of the day, and Warwickshire endured a trial by spin as wicket after wicket fell to attacking strokes. Waqar Younis gave Brown some overdue support in a tenth-wicket stand of 38, but they fell well short of their target.

Frizzell County Championship Division Two

Glamorgan 349 and 307 beat Somerset 233 and 313 by 110 runs at Cardiff
Michael Burns saved some face for Somerset with a patient century, but four wickets for Alex Wharf ensured that Glamorgan kept their promotion prospects on track with a comfortable 110-run victory at Cardiff. Somerset had been a wobbly 129 for 3 overnight, chasing 424, and when Jamie Cox fell early for 24, Glamorgan scented a swift finish. But Burns held them up in expert fashion, although he lacked any valid support and was eventually run out by a direct hit from Adrian Dale. Keith Dutch postponed the inevitable with brusk 30, but he was the last man out, caught by Dale off Robert Croft, whose first-innings century had set up Glamorgan's victory.