Sussex v Surrey, Hove, 3rd day April 17, 2010

Luke Wright puts Sussex on the verge of victory

Surrey 205 and 243 for 9 v Sussex 416
Scorecard

Luke Wright underlined his potential as a future England all-rounder with three key wickets as Sussex closed in on victory over Surrey in their Division Two clash at Hove.

Wright removed Mark Ramprakash, who has scored 10 of his 109 first-class hundreds against Sussex, for 14 and then returned later on the third day to pick up the wickets of Steve Davies and Usman Afzaal in successive overs.

The pair were threatening to drag Surrey back into contention during a stand of 138 for the fourth wicket after the visitors, who began their second innings 211 runs behind, had staggered to 35 for 3.

But Wright had Davies, who had twice been dropped, smartly taken at slip by Sussex captain Mike Yardy at slip for 37 and then Afzaal was brilliantly caught by Murray Goodwin diving to his left at point after making 87, including 14 fours. When he had reached 54, Afzaal passed 13,500 first-class runs.

That opened the door for Sussex and Rana Naved returned to the attack and produced an exceptional spell of reverse-swing bowling to pick up three wickets in eight balls. Gareth Batty drove loosely and lost his middle and off stumps, captain Rory Hamilton-Brown was spectacularly yorked before Andre Nel drove tamely to cover.

Sussex claimed the extra half-hour in an effort to finish Surrey off inside three days and Monty Panesar picked up Chris Schofield leg before to reward an excellent spell by the left-arm spinner after Schofield and Rao Iftikhar had survived for eight overs.

Surrey closed on 243 for 9, a lead of just 32, and Sussex should wrap up their second successive Championship victory at some stage tomorrow. Sussex had made the perfect start when Corey Collymore trapped Matthew Spriegel in front with the 10th ball of the match for a duck.

Arun Harinath shouldered arms and lost his off stump when Collymore switched to round the wicket to the left-hander and Wright nipped in with the big wicket of Ramprakash, lbw only half-forward in a mirror image of his first-innings dismissal.

Earlier, Sussex had extended their overnight first-innings lead of 73 to 211 thanks to a rollicking ninth-wicket stand between Rana and Robin Martin-Jenkins. Nightwatchman Panesar fell for his second successive duck to Jade Dernbach but Rana was soon taking the fight to an increasingly dispirited Surrey attack. The Pakistan all-rounder raced to his 50 off 54 balls and Martin-Jenkins lost little in comparison as he lodged his second half-century of the season.

They added 124 in 21 overs before Martin-Jenkins, whose 64 included nine boundaries, was caught at deep mid-wicket to give the persevering Dernbach his fourth wicket. Collymore was caught at slip for a duck, leaving Rana 68 not out from just 65 balls including five fours and three sixes, the pick of them a huge hit over long-on off Batty which sailed out of the ground.

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