Mushtaq secures dramatic victory

Mushtaq Ahmed took his season's tally to 82 wickets by taking 5 for 49 as Sussex narrowed the gap on Division One leaders Surrey to five points with a crushing win over third-placed Lancashire.

Billy Taylor also played an important part in their 252-run win at Hove by claiming 4 for 42. Lancashire had been set an improbable 392 to win but slipped to their first defeat of the season by being bowled out for 139 with just 12 minutes remaining.

Mushtaq grabbed five of the last six wickets on a slow turning pitch and it was fitting that he clinched victory by controversially dismissing Warren Hegg. With fielders all round the bat, the Pakistan leg-spinner was adjudged to have had the Lancashire captain caught at short leg by Richard Montgomerie. Hegg appeared dismayed at umpire Barry Dudleston's decision having nearly seen his side to safety in defending stubbornly for 71 balls in making 25.

A superb opening spell by Taylor brought him four wickets, including the important scalp of the prolific Stuart Law, caught by Chris Adams having scored just seven. The Sussex captain had earlier declared with his side on 383 for 7 after he was dismissed by Glenn Chapple for 190.

Elsewhere, Matthew Wood hit his first century of the season to guide Somerset to safety against Northamptonshire at Taunton in Division Two. Wood scored exactly 100 as the home side batted out the final day, declaring on 292 for 4.