Nash takes Sussex close after Naved stars
Sussex 177 and 218 for 1 v Somerset 213 and 235
Chris Nash finally converted a half-century into three figures to put Sussex on course for victory over Somerset in their County Championship Division One clash at Hove. Nash enjoyed a belated present a day after his 28th birthday with an unbeaten 111, made off 165 balls with 15 fours, as Sussex ended the third day on 218 for 1 and needing just 54 runs to complete their third win of the season.
Nash has passed 50 six times already this season but finally converted one into what was the 10th hundred of his career. Somerset's seam attack, who had taken seven wickets for 38 in Sussex's first innings on the second day, struggled to repeat that performance as Nash and opening partner Ed Joyce put together a partnership of 201, their sixth century stand of the season.
Their punishing partnership in 48 overs, 104 of which were scored in boundaries, looked as if it might pave the way for a three-day win for their side. But the in-form Joyce was leg before to Lewis Gregory for a stylish 84 shortly after Nash had reached his hundred with successive boundaries off Arul Suppiah.
Neither looked troubled by a wayward attack apart from when Nash suffered a stinging blow to the thigh from a ball by Steve Kirby on 60. Earlier Somerset had collapsed for the second time in the match, losing their last seven wickets for 38 in 18 overs either side of lunch to be bowled out for 235.
There was little hint of the drama to come as skipper Marcus Trescothick and Nick Compton batted positively at the start of the day before Trescothick, who had struck 12 fours and a six, was caught behind pushing forward to Naved-ul-Hasan for 79, the first of five wickets for the Pakistani quick bowler.
Jos Buttler was dropped at slip off the next ball then James Anyon continued his superb start to the season by picking up three wickets in five overs during a fiery spell. Alex Barrow edged a good length ball behind and Anyon then switched ends to take two wickets with in three balls. Compton, who had played well for his 44, was surprised by Anyon's extra pace and gloved a lifter to wicketkeeper Matt Prior and Peter Trego was beaten for pace and lost his middle stump.
Rana then stepped up to finish things off after lunch with a spell of 4 for 12 in 32 balls. Buttler was bowled by an inswinging yorker and Gregory fell leg before to another delivery which was well pitched up.
Rana also had a hand in the run out of Gemaal Hussain who hesitated in coming back for a second run and was beaten by Naved's direct hit from the non-striker's end. Naved finished things off in successive balls. Kirby was leg before to a yorker that struck him on the toe and Charl Willoughby was bowled for his second duck of the match.
He finished with match figures of 10 for 161, the second time he has taken 10 wickets in a match during five years with Sussex.