Mushtaq takes Sussex ever closer to the title
Mushtaq Ahmed took his 11th five-wicket haul of the summer, also giving him 10 wickets in the match, as Sussex edged closer to the Championship title on the second day against Kent at Canterbury. Although Sussex were quickly dismissed for 289, to gain a slender 41-run lead, Kent's batsmen once again fell victim to Mushtaq's wile. Matthew Walker anchored the sinking ship with 66, spending over three hours at the crease, while Darren Stevens batted aggressively in his 54. However, Kent's lead only amounts to 138 with two days (and two wickets) remaining.
Nick Compton became the 20th batsman to carry his bat for Middlesex who were torn apart by Charlie Shreck, who claimed a hat-trick on the first day against Nottinghamshire at Lord's. Shreck was given excellent support by his team-mates, with lively fielding and some sharp catches held. After losing Ben Hutton, Owais Shah and Compton batted attractively, although Shah was reprieved - dropped by Mark Ealham at second slip. But Paul Franks trapped Shah leg-before for 28 shortly afterwards. Then came Shreck. He'd removed Ed Smith with the last ball of an over, then bowled Eoin Morgan who attempted rather ambitious drive first ball; Paul Weekes was the hat-trick, his stumps destroyed. He didn't stop there, as Nash fell in the same over handing a straightforward catch to David Hussey in the slips. Four wickets in six balls. Compton was defiant, however, finishing on 105 as Middlesex were bowled out for 230. In reply, Nottinghamshire moved to 120 for 2, with Will Smith unbeaten on 54.
Division TwoTwo contrasting hundreds from Phil Weston and Craig Spearman led the way for Gloucestershire, who reached 385 for 7 on the opening day against Surrey at Bristol. Although it was arguably Gloucestershire's day with the bat, Surrey were confirmed Division Two champions at exactly 17.10 with the fall of the sixth Gloucestershire wicket - Steve Adshead bowled by Nayan Doshi - to hand them the required two points. It was Spearman who took the attack to Surrey, smashing a 98-ball hundred to put on 154 for the opening wicket with Weston (130). Hamish Marshall took up the attack, clobbering a run-a-ball 56, but Gloucestershire's middle-order collapsed from 316 for 2 to 285 for 7.