Malan stars as Middlesex break duck
Middlesex enjoyed their first win of the LV= County Championship Division Two campaign as an unbeaten 100 from Dawid Malan secured a three-wicket triumph over Sussex at Hove.
Malan struck the winning runs in the fourth over after lunch to make his second hundred of the season, the 22-year-old left-hander reaching his ton off 173 balls with 15 fours.
Sussex stay top of the table despite suffering their first defeat after four successive wins, and they will be disappointed not to have extended their winning run having had Middlesex on the ropes at 78 for five yesterday in pursuit of 243 for victory.
The game was effectively won in the first hour today as Malan and Gareth Berg added 83 in 17 overs as they took full advantage of some wayward bowling.
Both Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, who was also plagued by over-stepping as Sussex conceded 37 extras, and Corey Collymore struggled for rhythm and when skipper Murray Goodwin turned to left-arm spinner Monty Panesar, his four overs cost 30 runs.
It included a horrible full toss which Malan pulled out of the ground and into an adjoining garden for six, forcing the umpires to change the ball.
The sixth-wicket pair had put on 127 in 31 overs when Robin Martin-Jenkins gave Sussex a glimmer of hope as he had Berg leg before playing across the line to claim his sixth wicket of the match and 22nd of the season, only one fewer than he managed throughout 2009.
Malan and former Sussex player Tom Smith added a further 17 runs before Smith was athletically taken down leg by wicketkeeper Matt Prior off James Anyon, who had just been brought back into the attack.
Middlesex needed 21 runs at that stage and Sussex’s last hope of victory effectively went when Michael Thornely, diving to his left at extra cover, put down a difficult chance offered by Tim Murtagh when he was on six.
Middlesex were unable to finish the game off before lunch, but Malan hit the first ball after the break from Panesar to the boundary to relieve the tension in the visitors’ dressing room before finding a gap on the leg side to win the game with a single and compete his century.