Sussex storm to second
Sussex strengthened their challenge for LV= County Championship honours by completing an eight-wicket win over Middlesex with four sessions to spare at the PROBIZ County Ground.
The hosts knocked off their victory target of 95 runs in 25.3 overs, after dismissing Middlesex for 211 in their second innings.
A fourth successive home win has lifted them above Nottinghamshire into second place, 11 points behind leaders Warwickshire.
Warwickshire, who boast a game in hand, remain title favourites but they still have to play Nottinghamshire twice and Sussex are poised to cash in should the leaders falter.
The pitch continued to give plenty of assistance to bowlers prepared to bend their backs, with the ball lifting alarmingly on several occasions.
Middlesex's hopes of setting a bigger target were undone by a hostile burst before lunch from Amjad Khan, who claimed three wickets to finish with match figures of 8-64, his best for Sussex.
After Steve Magoffin had removed nightwatchman Toby Roland-Jones, Amjad broke the back of the innings with three breakthroughs in four overs.
Sam Robson, who had faced 138 balls for his 36, was squared up by a beauty of a delivery which he edged behind, then John Simpson was well held at slip by Michael Yardy as he pushed forward.
Gareth Berg was Amjad’s third victim following an ill-advised waft outside off stump and Sussex picked up their fifth scalp of the session when Chris Nash anticipated Dawid Malan's paddle-sweep and ran across from short-leg to take a juggling catch.
Neil Dexter batted solidly for 40, only to become one of three wickets in 13 balls for James Anyon as the innings was brought to a swift end.
Ollie Rayner, having just been struck on the back of the helmet, was caught behind as he backed away and Dexter's 93-minute vigil ended tamely with a waft down the leg side.
Anyon then wrapped up the innings by bowling Tim Murtagh - having had him caught at third man off the previous delivery only to be called for overstepping.
Wicketkeeper Ben Brown's six catches in the innings equalled the county record. Fittingly, Sussex's oldest surviving player Rupert Webb - who achieved the feat in 1955 and 1960 - was at the ground celebrating his 90th birthday.
Sussex lost Chris Nash in the fifth over of their chase but skipper Ed Joyce and Luke Wells teamed up to take them to within 27 runs of victory.
Although Joyce was superbly caught off his own bowling by Rayner, victory was wrapped up 15 minutes after tea as Murray Goodwin passed 22,000 career runs in his unbeaten 19.