Round-Up: Sussex go top with rout of Durham

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The Independent Online

Sussex confirmed themselves as major title contenders with a three-day victory over hapless Durham to return to the top of the First Division.

A first county championship success in five matches followed a run of near misses but coach Mark Robinson never doubted his 2006 team had the will and firepower to emulate those who claimed Sussex's first title three years ago.

The bowling skills of Mushtaq Ahmed, Jason Lewry and Yasir Arafat earned them victory by an innings and 133 runs, shortly after lunch at Hove, where they were held up by a Phil Mustard century as Durham managed 247 all out after following on.

Robinson disputes any notion they ever lost their way over the past month as Lancashire moved to the top of the table and held an 11-point lead at the start of this round of matches.

The Yorkshireman cited prolific wicket-taker Mushtaq's neck injury as perhaps the main reason the 2003 champions had been failing to finish teams off of late.

"What we've had is a little bit of misfortune and Mushtaq at 60 per cent fitness on very flat and slow wickets. He's a lot better now - just lacking a little bit of match fitness but bowling pretty much pain free," said Robinson.

Worcestershire's push for promotion from the Second Division of the county championship was again held up by the weather at Grace Road with only 10 overs possible on the third day against Leicestershire.

Heavy early morning rain prevented a start being made until 4.30pm following four inspections with Leicestershire resuming on 40 without loss, 416 runs behind.

The Leicestershire batsmen took the score to 56 for 1 before the umpires decided that the teams had to go off because of the risk of lightning and play was finally abandoned for the day at 5.45pm with Leicestershire 400 runs behind.