Damp draw bittersweet for Sussex

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Rain denied Sussex the chance to go top of LV= County Championship Division One, but also staved off the possibility of defeat to Somerset at Taunton.

Second-placed Sussex needed a seemingly straightforward 133 with 10 wickets left for victory, but a combination of the weather and Somerset’s bowlers hampered them.

Following an hour-long delay, the visitors resumed on 31 without loss but Peter Trego soon had Ed Joyce caught behind for 24 and bowled Chris Nash and Luke Wright for 26 and 22 respectively either side of Abdur Rehman removing Murray Goodwin for nought.

Rehman struck again to snare Michael Yardy after lunch, yet further showers saw play abandoned at 4:45pm with Sussex on 115 for five.

Sussex’s opportunity to move to the summit came about because Warwickshire were in no position to beat Middlesex at Edgbaston, with the front-runners relying on rain and bad light to draw.

Peter Trego

Seamer Peter Trego's three early breakthroughs checked Sussex's progress towards 164 to go top of LV= County Championship Division One

The visitors batted on for 11 overs this morning to post 412 all out, setting their opponents an improbable 367. Dawid Malan improved on his overnight 138 by two but Gareth Berg extended yesterday’s 53 by 25. Chris Wright struck thrice today and Boyd Rankin twice for respective figures of 5-119 and 5-78.

Warwickshire’s opening batsmen fell cheaply before Ravi Patel broke through three times to leave the hosts 134 for seven, Jim Troughton top-scoring with 42. They slowly added 18 and, with an hour already lost to rain, the fading light ensured a stalemate.

Rob Newton’s second hundred of the game made sure of a draw for Northamptonshire versus Division Two leaders Derbyshire at Wantage Road.

Wayne Madsen and Tom Poynton’s mammoth ninth-wicket stand of 261 and a last-wicket fifty partnership helped the visitors to 569 all out for a first-innings lead of 169.

Poynton could add only one to his 105 yesterday, but Madsen moved from 223 to 231 not out as Tim Groenewald’s 35-ball 42 dominated an alliance worth 55.

Two Tony Palladino wickets then left Northants 37 for four, but Newton and David Sales put on an unbroken 175 to end on 119 and 53 respectively.

Second-placed Hampshire missed out on closing the gap on Derbyshire as they lost to Leicestershire, who moved off the foot of the table, by 126 runs at Grace Road - but only after a 10th-wicket stand of 168 gave the hosts a fright.

Chasing an improbable 441, the visitors resumed on 77 for four and slumped to 146 for nine with three wickets for occasional leg-spinner Will Jones including Liam Dawson for 49.

However, Chris Wood and David Balcombe combined to great effect either side of a delayed lunch until Nathan Buck bowled the latter for a 70-ball 73, leaving the former unbeaten on 105 from 88 deliveries.

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