Cricket: Salisbury spins Surrey towards title

Surrey 224 and 315-7 dec Sussex 115 and 217 Surrey win by 207 runs

AFTER VICIOUS overnight rain had prevented any Wednesday play at Hove, the wicket that eventually greeted Surrey was green and lush.

This was probably less out of deference to the excellent home seam attack of Jason Lewry, James Kirtley, Mark Robinson and Robin Martin-Jenkins than out of fear, not unjustified, of Saqlain Mushtaq. But the Pakistani could turn a ball on Brighton beach, and so a track intended to deny him was no problem. In Sussex's first innings he took 7 for 19, including a hat-trick.

On Friday Adam Hollioake decided that Saqlain, together with Ian Salisbury and Martin Bicknell, could bowl at a lead of 424. Sussex had chased a bigger total to win this season - 452 against Gloucestershire - but there was to be no second miracle yesterday.

At the start of play Sussex were 94 for 2, five runs short of where their first innings had stood on Friday morning. Unfortunately on that occasion they could add only 16 more. This time, with captain Chris Adams and Australian Mike Di Venuto in charge, they would surely do better.

Martin Bicknell had other ideas. In what unintentionally turned into a spinners' match, he enjoyed himself at Hove, top-scoring in Surrey's first innings with 67, watching brother Darren clump 115 in the second, and bowling with venom from both ends of the sloping ground. Coming down hill, he immediately removed Di Venuto.

Tony Cottey joined Adams in defiant mood. In one glorious Saqlain over they stole 19 runs, equalling the spinner's entire first-innings concession. Adams pulled a six, plumped a long-on four and sneaked a single. Cottey pulled a full toss to square-leg and swept the next ball to the boundary.

They continued the mayhem against Salisbury in the next over, but the bowler won. Cottey cut a four and tried it again. Salisbury had flipped in the googly, however, and with Cottey's departure the Sussex charge ended and became a retreat to the dressing-room.

There was a final act of defiance. On Friday Mark Robinson reached his 500th first-class run - in his 201st game. He then coincidentally captured his 500th wicket.

Yesterday Saqlain posted fielders all around the nation's favourite No 11 - and Robinson hit him for a perfect straight six back over his head. Saqlain was content to wait until Robinson tried again, and Surrey had won. They are now clear Championship favourites.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments