Innings success puts Sussex top

Sussex took over at the top of the First Division of the County Championship, albeit possibly temporarily, by thrashing Essex at Colchester yesterday. The home side were bowled out for just 209 in their second innings to slide to an innings and 120 run defeat.

Sussex took over at the top of the First Division of the County Championship, albeit possibly temporarily, by thrashing Essex at Colchester yesterday. The home side were bowled out for just 209 in their second innings to slide to an innings and 120 run defeat.

Chasing the formidable Sussex total of 612, Essex began the day on 23 without loss but added just one run before opener Darren Robinson was run out. Fellow opener Will Jefferson offered the most resistance as he compiled 59, but when he was caught and bowled by Robin Martin-Jenkins, it was only a matter of time before Sussex wrapped up victory. Mushtaq Ahmed finished with match figures of 7 for 170.

Previous leaders Surrey were going well against Leicestershire at Grace Road. Resuming on 90 not out from a total of 349, Rikki Clarke (139) completed his century before becoming the second of three victims of Jeremy Snape and Paul Nixon. Azhar Mahmood made 30 as Surrey made 501.

The home side struggled to 127 for 7 at the close, Clarke enjoying success with the ball as well, with 3 for 21 - the same figures as Tim Murtagh.

In the Second Division, Worcestershire moved a step closer to promotion with an eight-wicket win over Somerset. The visitors, resuming on 32 for 4, limped to 147 all out - leaving the home side needing 113 runs for victory.

Northamptonshire cruised to victory by an innings and 231 runs against Derbyshire at Derby. The home side resumed on 66 without loss on day three and lost Steve Selwood (33) retired hurt before Rawait Khan went having scored just eight.

Hopes rested on the shoulders of Michael di Venuto and he scored 116 before becoming the third of spinner Jason Brown's four victims, Brown finishing with impressive figures of 4 for 60 from 42 overs.

Luke Sutton scored a defiant 56 but after he was bowled by Brown the remaining five wickets fell for just 29 runs as the home side were all out for 278.

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