'The best County Championship season ever'

Martin Williamson on a remarkable finale to the 2007 Championship season

Cricinfo staff

The waiting game: Chris Adams relaxes with a beer after beating Worcestershire ... only four-and-a-half hours to go © Getty Images
After four-and-a-half hours of waiting, Chris Adams punched the air with delight as Dominic Cork was bowled 60 miles away at The Oval. Sussex had won their third title in five years in what he described as "the best County Championship season ever".
Talking to Sky Sports, Adams said: "I'm just overwhelmed. We started the day needing five wickets, we got them and then we had to watch that. I'd say to Lancashire 'you played well, you had a hard season, there's no shame in your performance and you nearly did it'.
"It's been the most excruciating afternoon. We were panicking like hell in there. My team have been brilliant. They've been awesome on and off the field. The test of a true team is if you retain your trophy and we did it. You play 16 games of four-day cricket so the best team has to win, we proved that but only by the slimmest of margins. We got there by the skin of our teeth."
At The Oval, Mark Chilton, Lancashire's captain, was in tears as he admitted that he had "never seen a changing room like it in my life.
"I'm extremely proud of what our guys have achieved though. As captain I'm privileged to have seen the efforts they have put in. To get close to our target was a phenomenal effort but the lads are just broken. Our players have risen to an almighty challenge and to come so close is an enormous effort."
Mushtaq Ahmed, who took 13 wickets in the match and whose 90 wickets in the season were again instrumental in Sussex's success, said: "I had an extra pray and asked Allah to give us another Championship. If you give 100% then Allah will always favour you.
He's a fabulous character and he inspires so many of the other players. It'll be a sad day when he goes
Chris Adams on Mushtaq Ahmed Optional related link
"The people here are so kind and lovely. It's a family club and I'd like to thank them. But you have to give 100% and the players cheer each other up and are united - when people are not doing well we back them up. You have to stay together when there are ups and downs. It's a very special moment for Sussex but we've had to work hard for our win."
Adams singled out Mushtaq for praise. "He's been bowled into the ground ... not that he'll mind. It's not only his ability, it's his commitment, his desire to keep bowling overs. He just turns up and keeps churning out the overs and waning to take wickets. He's a fabulous character and he inspires so many of the other players. It'll be a sad day when he goes."