Mushtaq spins Sussex into strong position in title race

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The Independent Online

Mushtaq Ahmed put the skids under Durham as Sussex closed in on victory in their bid to leapfrog Lancashire in the race for the County Championship title.

After Sussex declared on 531 for 6 at Hove - with Chris Adams making 156 - Durham made just 150, with Mushtaq taking 5 for 64 and Jason Lewry picking up three scalps. Durham were 42 for 2 in their second innings, following on, at the close.

A fascinating contest with Yorkshire leg-spinners Adil Rashid and Mark Lawson bowling in tandem was cut short by rain at Headingley. Play ended for the day with Kent on 228 for six in 67 overs, replying to Yorkshire's first innings score of 310. Rashid was the more successful of the two, although Lawson bowled without luck. Kent were in a strong position on 213 for four when Rashid struck with two wickets in two balls. First to go was Darren Stevens, who missed an intended sweep. He was followed by the West Indian Dwayne Bravo, who offered no stroke and was also lbw.

Geraint Jones saved the hat-trick as fielders crowded the bat, but soon heavy rain ended play with 46 overs remaining. Martin van Jaarsveld was unbeaten on 59 from 110 balls with seven fours and a six, while Jones made eight.

Rashid has bowled 10 overs and taken two for 44 while Lawson's six overs have given away 26 runs - but he was unfortunate when Stevens edged him on to wicketkeeper Simon Guy's glove and the ball flew over Anthony McGrath's head at slip.

Kent took control in the morning as England discard Robert Key and nightwatchman Simon Cook added 80 for the second wicket, with Cook refusing to play second fiddle in moving towards his first half-century for Kent.

Key was the first to go for 40 as he lost his off-stump to McGrath's medium pace and Cook then punished Rashid by driving him for two boundaries in an over before lifting him for a straight six. But when he had reached 71 off 101 deliveries - with nine fours and a six - Cook nicked into Guy's gloves and Kent were 136 for three.

In the Second Divison, Derbyshire were also held up by the weather after they had Gloucestershire in trouble at the County Ground. Gloucestershire lost two of their leading batsmen in the first four overs and had struggled to 78 for 3 when rain arrived five minutes before lunch, and ended play for the day.