Nash ton helps Sussex seal third
Chris Nash led the way with 108 as Sussex beat champions Durham by six wickets to secure third place and £87,000 prize money in the LV= County Championship.
Nash and opening partner Luke Wells laid the foundations for victory with a stand of 163 after Sussex had been set 295 to win in 75 overs.
Wells was out for 88, which meant he fell six runs short of lodging 1,000 first-class runs for the season, but Nash pushed on to his third hundred of the summer to ensure Sussex finished in their highest position since they last won the title in 2007. He also completed 1,000 championship runs in the process.
Nash gave one chance on 91 when he edged hard to second slip but, despite getting both hands on the ball, Scott Borthwick was unable to hold on and in the next over Nash took successive boundaries off Ben Stokes to reach the 16th century of his career.
Left-hander Wells was equally as impressive as Sussex made relatively light work of what looked a tricky run-chase. He was reprieved on 33 when Will Smith shelled a tough chance at short-leg during a probing spell by leg-spinner Borthwick.
Durham skipper Paul Collingwood eventually recalled the country's leading-wicket taker Graham Onions and he snared his 70th victim as Wells edged one that held its line to slip, where Collingwood held a superb one-handed catch.
Nash and skipper Ed Joyce subsequently shared a second-wicket stand of 80 in 17 overs, during which the latter moved up to fourth in the list of Division One’s highest run-scorers this summer.
Borthwick eventually had Nash caught at deep mid-off for 108, made off 147 balls with 17 fours, and Matt Prior fell to the part-time spin of Will Smith before a humorous finale.
With the game all but lost, Phil Mustard removed his pads to bowl his maiden first-class over and Durham’s wicketkeeper claimed a wicket when his fifth ball trapped Luke Wright lbw.
There were still 10 overs left when Joyce hit the winning runs to finish on 66 not out.
Earlier, Usman Arshad made his highest first-class score before Durham, who had been 120 for six on day three, were finally bowled out for 458.
Arshad hit 88 off 83 balls with 12 fours and three sixes before he was brilliantly caught by Joyce at short midwicket when a drive struck the fielder on the arm and he held onto the rebound.
Arshad added 106 in 21 overs for the eighth wicket before opener Keaton Jennings was caught behind cutting at Chris Nash. Jennings batted for more than seven hours and faced 308 balls, with 16 fours.