Hayden's men close to sealing silverware

Northamptonshire continued to close in on the Second Division title yesterday, despite the loss of all but 70 minutes play on the third day of their match against Essex at Wantage Road.

Northamptonshire continued to close in on the Second Division title yesterday, despite the loss of all but 70 minutes play on the third day of their match against Essex at Wantage Road.

Matthew Hayden's men progressed from 337 for 7 overnight to 397 for 9, picking up another batting point before steady drizzle prevented further play. His side have a lead of 164 with one wicket standing, and a draw will now be enough to earn them the trophy following Glamorgan's seven-wicket defeat by Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

David Ripley (54) and Paul Taylor (27) carried their eighth-wicket stand to 69 before Ricky Anderson, armed with the second new ball, dismissed both men in successive overs. Taylor clipped a straightforward catch to Paul Grayson at square-leg while Ripley edged to Stuart Law at slip.

The last pair, Darren Cousins and Jason Brown, came together with 11 runs needed to secure the fifth and final batting point and they had scored eight when the weather intervened. It was a low-key sequel to the events of the first two days when Northamptonshire gained the points they needed to wrap up promotion, then faced the prospect of losing them before an inspection panel exonerated their pitch.

Ian Harvey claimed match figures of 10 for 32 as Gloucestershire strengthened their late bid for promotion to the First Division by destroying Sussex by an innings and 18 runs at Hove.

Sussex, 89 runs behind on first innings, were routed for 71 in 25 overs to dive to their fourth Championship defeat in the last five games.

Harvey bowled impressively to take 4 for 13 after hitting a fluent 60 as Gloucestershire, resuming on 74 for 2, were bowled out for 227, 50 minutes after lunch.

Sussex, top of the table five weeks ago, have now won only one of their last 10 matches in all forms of cricket and are in danger of finishing bottom.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk
Nepal earthquake: One man's desperate escape from Everest base camp after the disaster

Escape from Everest base camp

Nick Talbot was sitting in his tent when the tsunami of snow and rock hit. He was lucky to live, unlike his climbing partner just feet away...
Adopting high fibre diet could dramatically cut risk of bowel cancer, says study

What happened when 20 Americans swapped diets with 20 Africans?

Innovative study in the US produces remarkable results
Blake Lively and 'The Age of Adaline': Gossip Girl comes
of age

Gossip girl comes of age

Blake Lively is best known for playing an affluent teenager. Her role as a woman who is trapped forever at 29 is a greater challenge
Goat cuisine: Kid meat is coming to Ocado

Goat cuisine

It's loved by chefs, ethical, low in fat and delicious. So, will kid meat give lamb a run for its money?
14 best coat hooks

Hang on: 14 best coat hooks

Set the tone for the rest of your house with a stylish and functional coat rack in the hallway
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?