Mushtaq edges nervy Sussex home
Sussex hauled themselves over the line on the third day against Kent at Canterbury, despite James Tredwell taking six second-innings wickets to hand him his first ten-wicket haul. On a pitch allowing prodigious turn, Kent were dismissed for 208 to set Sussex the apparently simple total of 161 - with just under two full days remaining. Facile it was not. After an expensive six overs from Robbie Joseph, Tredwell was introduced and immediately removed Carl Hopkinson before cutting a swathe through Sussex's middle order. With the loss of Matt Prior for 19, the Sussex ship was leaking at 105 for 5 and still they lost wickets. With the dismissal of Yasir Arafat, Tredwell took his tenth of the match for the first time, leaving Sussex needing 17. Appropriately it was Mushtaq Ahmed to the fore - he recorded his best match figures for Sussex with 13 for 132 - and he edged his side to a memorable two-wicket victory to keep them in pole position for the title.
Nottinghamshire cruised into full control at Lord's, rattling up 601 for 6, a lead of 371 runs after they dismissed Middlesex for 230 yesterday. There were three centurions in their midst - Will Smith, who made 141; Stephen Fleming with 192 and Samit Patel, who was unbeaten on 151 at stumps. The two Davids, Alleyne (15) and Hussey (19), failed to cash in on the run-fest, but the visitors will be more than happy with their position halfway through this match.
John Crawley struck 150 and shared a third-wicket stand of 168 with Chris Benham as Hampshire enjoyed a solid opening day against Durham at Chester-le-Street, making 425. Benham was unlucky to miss out on a century, collecting 91 before he feathered through off Ottis Gibson to Phil Mustard. Sean Ervine also fell just short of a landmark, making 49 before Mick Lewis bowled him. Nic Pothas managed to make his fifty, but was trapped lbw on 54 courtesy of Neil Killeen. The efforts of Crawley and Benham were much needed after Hampshire were in early trouble at 15 for 2, having lost both of their openers in single figures.
Second day Worcestershire earned a valuable lead of 72 against Leicestershire at Grace Road despite a defiant, unbeaten 111 from HD Ackerman. This was Ackerman's fourth ton of a prolific Championship campaign and carried him past 1700 runs in the competition. However, he was the lone major resistance with the next highest score being John Maunders's 30. Worcestershire's attack shared the wickets around with Zaheer Khan topping the tally with three, while Gareth Batty chipped in with two important strikes. Steven Davies impressed behind the timbers with six dismissals. By the close lead had been extended to 127 for the loss of Stephen Moore.
James Averis handed Gloucestershire the honours on the second day against Surrey at Bristol with a fine all-round performance. Gloucestershire resumed on 385 for 7, but Averis and Alex Gidman (52) defied Surrey to put on a fine parternship of 69. Averis, the more aggressive of the two, slapped nine fours and a six in his 53 to take the home side to 459. And in reply Averis snaffled three key wickets as Surrey stumbled to 287 for 9.
On the first day at Cardiff, Glamorgan were dismissed for a lowly 204 by Northamptonshire with Monty Panesar picking up 5 for 67. Only Dan Cherry (71) threatened the Northamptonshire attack, crunching 12 boundaries at the top of the order. Panesar received good support from Matt Nicholson and Ben Phillips, both of whom took two economical wickets. Northamptonshire capped off a fine day, racing past their hundred with Chris Rogers clobbering an unbeaten fifty.