Nottinghamshire v Sussex, Trent Bridge, 3rd day September 22, 2006

Mushtaq leads Sussex to glory

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Sussex 560 for 5 dec beat Nottinghamshire 165 (Mushtaq 4-60) and 150 (Mushtaq 9 for 48) by an innings and 245 runs
Scorecard



Mushtaq Ahmed's career-best 9 for 48 powered Sussex to the title © Getty Images
Sussex surged to their second Championship title before lunch on the third day at Trent Bridge, led by Mushtaq Ahmed's magic career-best haul of 9 for 48 which carried him past the 100-wicket mark. For a moment Mushtaq threatened to take all ten, but that was about the only honour that eluded a Sussex player.

Mushtaq, though, was quick to turn the attention away from his performance: "It's not an individual game it's a team game and you can't win things on your own. We are a united team and credit goes to everyone.

"The bowling and batting has been so good, Jason Lewry has taken wickets, James Kirtley has bowled well. I can name everyone from the management point of view to the supporters - this is a family club and everyone plays for each other.

"We had good plans and we had belief and it paid off. I would like to thank the Sussex staff and all my team-mates, they are about me like a family.

Chris Adams praised his side's efforts over a long season and said the title was nothing less than they deserved. "It's a magnificent feeling to do the double. 2006 is Sussex's year, we've won it because we were the best team.

"It was hard because it has come down to the wire. Notts are a good side and to break them down was tough. In the end it came down to a good toss, which we won, the Richard Montgomerie and Michael Yardy battled brilliantly on the first day when we were nervous then Mushtaq did the rest."

Bad light and drizzle delayed the start by 45 minutes, but there was so much time remaining that all it did was keep the champagne on ice for a few moments longer. Once play started, the ball went straight to Mushtaq, although he took a few overs to crank his weary body into gear. The end of the season has been a battle of mind of matter for Mushtaq.

He was helped along the way by some shocking stokeplay from a disinterested homeside. David Hussey failed to pick a googly - certainly not the first - but Samit Patel's slog across the line was an insult to his tag of professional cricketer.

Mushtaq had six wickets in six overs and the prospect of a 10-for was looming. James Kirtley put an end to that dream when he brought one back into Paul Franks.

No one, though, was going to deny Mushtaq a century and when Ryan Sidebottom missed a sweep the Sussex team converged to celebrate the masterful legspinner. It is the second time in four seasons he has taken 100 wickets, following his haul in the previous Championship-winning campaign of 2003.

Mushtaq duly wrapped up the tail by trapping Mark Ealham and Andy Harris in front to spark the celebrations. Sussex closed for a team huddle before Mushtaq lead them off, arms aloft.

Moments before getting his hands on the trophy, Adams made special mention of their coach Mark Robinson: "The team go out there and get the trophies and medals, but there are a huge number of people working off the field to help us and they deserve it just as much."

Andrew McGlashan is editorial assistant of Cricinfo