Nixon's resistance is futile as Sussex take chances

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While the first wet day of the season limited the action in the First Division of the County Championship, bringing frustration for Warwickshire and Lancashire and no play at all for Somerset and Essex, at Hove Sussex played through the rain to complete another emphatic statement of intent in the Second Division.

Last season's surprise relegation victims, who won back-to-back titles only three years ago, registered their fourth straight win when they saw off Leicestershire just after tea, with Chris Nash and Michael Thornely allowed sensibly to finish the job after the interval, despite heavy rain, rather than be made to wait with only 15 more runs needed.

Leicestershire, 278 behind on first innings, offered some resistance, but even after veteran Paul Nixon had made 93 and captain Andrew McDonald and Wayne White 47 each, Sussex were still left with a victory target of just 61.

Monty Panesar made an important contribution, making the breakthrough in his seventh over of the day when McDonald prodded to short leg. Nash dismissed Josh Cobb with a sharp return catch before Panesar struck twice more before lunch. Tom New was leg before offering no stroke before Nixon perished in an attempted sweep. Nixon had batted for four and a half hours, facing 222 balls.

Panesar finished with 3 for 77 before Sussex's seamers polished off Leicestershire's tail after lunch.

Warwickshire veteran Neil Carter forged ahead as the country's leading wicket-taker with three more wickets to leave Hampshire in trouble at Edgbaston, raising his tally so far to 20. Hampshire lost Jimmy Adams, caught behind off Chris Woakes without scoring, before Carter dismissed Michael Carberry, Neil McKenzie and Chris Benham in quick succession to have Hampshire rocking at 32 for 4.

A half-century from James Vince ensured that Warwickshire will need to bat again but his departure just before lunch, leg before to leg-spinner Imran Tahir, leaves Hampshire just five runs in front at 104 for 5.

Lancashire have a lead of 284 over Kent at Old Trafford as they seek a third win from three matches, putting them in a strong position after half-centuries from Ashwell Prince and Mark Chilton. Chilton was dropped on six off Makhaya Ntini.

In the Second Division, Gloucestershire need three wickets to win at Lord's, where Middlesex, who lost Andrew Strauss for nine, are struggling to reach a target of 289.

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