Rampant Malcolm rolls back the years

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The Independent Online

If England really want to fight fire with fire against Australia while recalling old flames like Mark Butcher and Mark Ramprakash, perhaps it's time to unleash 38-year-old Devon Malcolm on the Ashes too.

The fast bowler is enjoying a phoenix-like revival to his career in his first season at Leicestershire after three disappointing years at North-ampton. He has taken more wickets than any other bowler in the country; only Muttiah Muralitharan of Lancashire comes close, and he has gone home. Malcolm went past the 50-wicket mark yesterday, blasting out five of the top seven Glamorgan batsman at Cardiff as his new employers tried to keep up with the pace in the First Division of the County Championship after wins for Somerset, Surrey and Kent.

Glamorgan resumed on 15 for 2, needing 362 to avoid an innings defeat, and they duly succumbed for 287, with Malcolm taking 5 for 98. Adrian Dale put up stern resistance with 89, while a late flurry by Darren Thomas accrued 69.

Hampshire completed the formalities at West End to take them back to the top of the Second Division, in the process recording their highest- ever winning margin at home. The last three Nottingham-shire wickets mustered 49 as they went down by 338 runs, Alan Mullally's left-arm seamers earning him 5 for 68.

Sussex, who beat Hampshire by an innings a fortnight ago, are another south coast county vying for promotion. They went top of the Second Division, leapfrogging their neighbours, after recording a fifth win in their last six games at Chester-le-Street against Dur-ham, who have never beaten them in this competition.

The visitors, resuming on 115 for 1, declared on 253 for 9 to set a target of 336. The in-form opener Richard Montgomerie made 71 and his skipper Chris Adams 90, while former England Under-19 left-arm spinner Graeme Bridge returned 4 for 57 in only his second first-class game in three years.

Durham had to reach their target in 61 overs to retain their own promotion ambitions. But their quest ended abruptly on 202 as Umer Rashid, another former Under-19 slow left-armer, hurried them to defeat by 133 runs, snatching 4 for 9 to add to his century.

On the second day at New Road, two underachievers fell short of expectations again. Worcestershire managed 240 in reply to Gloucestershire's 222, extras almost top-scoring and Mark Alleyne picking up 4 for 30. But his side crumbled to 87 all out as Kabir Ali and Andy Bichel took 5 for 22 and 4 for 32 respectively.