Kent had a miserable enough day yesterday as it was, skittled out for an inadequate total on a good pitch, only to find their attack robbed of the services of Tyron Henderson.
The South African bowler chopped a ball from Sussex pace bowler Yasir Arafat on to his left foot and broke a toe. He will struggle to take any further part in this match.
It is probably fortunate that Kent did not have to face one of Sussex's most potent performers, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan. He will be back in time for Sussex's next match though - against Nottinghamshire, in the final round of Championship matches.
Sussex having confirmed that Rana will return from one day international duty with Pakistan in time for the Trent Bridge showdown, which is likely to decide the destiny of the title.
But Rana was not required yesterday, not with Mushtaq Ahmed in top form. The Pakistani leg spinner began slowly, with seven wicketless overs from the Nackington Road end. But once he switched ends it sparked a remarkable slide. Thanks to a spell of 6-16 in 8.5 overs by Mushtaq Sussex picked up maximum bowling points to open up a clear lead at the top of the First Division. This was Mushtaq's ninth haul of five wickets or more in an innings this season and took his tally to 82.
Among his victims was Kent's top scorer Martin van Jaarsveld, who did survive two huge shouts for leg before, the first of which had umpire Mike Harris with finger half out of holster, so to speak, before it registered that there had been contact with the bat. The South African proceeded to pull and drive his way to his third hundred of the season and his third-wicket partnership of 149 with Matt Walker went a long way to saving Kent from humiliation.
Walker's dismissal just short of a deserved fifty, was the result of as fine an example of stumping as you could hope to witness. The left-hander attempted a sweep, stretching a trifle, but missed the ball, but in the few nano seconds available to him the wicketkeeper Matt Prior plucked the ball from wide out on his left and had the bails off before Walker could push his back foot into safe ground.