Stuart Law shone in whites this week © Getty Images
 

It was back to County Championship cricket this week after the thrills and spills of Twenty20, while Lancashire also announced that Brad Hodge would not be returning to the county. Hodge will be looking after his ill wife, Meg, in Australia, leaving Lou Vincent as the county's overseas player.

It was another Australian, Stuart Law, who shone for Lancashire this week, though. His unbeaten 158 was the cornerstone around which Lancashire constructed what could be a crucial eight-wicket victory against Sussex at Hove. With the table so bunched up, every point counts and Law made sure to do his bit, thrusting Lancashire to second.

Law's innings was compiled over six hours and 39 minutes, from 281 balls, and contained 18 fours. His masterful knock helped his side to a valuable lead of 129, and completed a hat-trick of centuries at Hove. He was a class above anything else on display, more salt for Sussex who dropped him on 18 - a tough chance to Chris Adams at slip - and on 101, when Jason Lewry spilled a much simpler opportunity at mid-on.

It showed the class of Law that he was able to so easily switch between Twenty20 and four-day cricket. He was happy to bide his time against pace and spin, finally bringing up his first Championship ton this term from 173 balls. It was an innings full of silky cover drives, deft cuts and neat placement.

With the counties jostling for position, Adam Voges' first-innings 49 went some way to helping Nottinghamshire to the top in their six-wicket win against Hampshire at the Rose Bowl. Though he stumbled for 4 second time round, his team-mates saw them home. Darren Pattinson took two wickets in each innings before his surprise call-up to England's Champions Trophy long-list of 30 players. Pattinson was born in Grimsby and is not a citizen of Australia.

Michael Di Venuto's Durham drew level on points with Yorkshire after beating them at Chester-le-Street. They are now equal third in the table with 77 points each, though Durham have a game in hand on them and the top two. Matthew Hoggard bagged him for a duck in the first innings but his unbeaten 65 in the second secured the victory.

Matt Nicholson was unable to turn out for Surrey's sorry beating by Kent - having been in full control at the Oval - as he is not eligible while Abdul Razzaq is playing. Nicholson can return for their next game, against Voges' Nottinghamshire on Friday, when Surrey will still be seeking their first win.

In Division Two, Marcus North managed 10 and a not-out 8 in Gloucestershire's stalemate against the leaders Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

Steve Magoffin played more of a support role than anything else in Worcestershire's ten-wicket drubbing of Leicestershire. He took a wicket in each innings, Leicestershire immediately on the backfoot after folding for 120.