Sheikh's last stand keeps Sussex at bay

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The Independent Online

Warwickshire may not have won a game in the County Championship yet but they sit atop Division One. This status stems from the fact that they have gained maximum bonus points from their batting in the last three matches, an adherence to the basics which tends to serve teams well in the top flight, especially in staving off relegation. But can they bowl sides out and thus challenge for honours? After all, Sussex have not beaten them since 1992.

Warwickshire may not have won a game in the County Championship yet but they sit atop Division One. This status stems from the fact that they have gained maximum bonus points from their batting in the last three matches, an adherence to the basics which tends to serve teams well in the top flight, especially in staving off relegation. But can they bowl sides out and thus challenge for honours? After all, Sussex have not beaten them since 1992.

At Edgbaston Warwickshire's last pair put on 74 with Mohammad Sheikh unbeaten on 57 and Alan Richardson, an expert No 11 after adding 214 with Nick Knight against Hampshire last season, making 47. Then Sheikh refused to allow the Sussex batsmen any such freedom, taking 3 for 16 in 17 overs as the visitors reached 116 for 3 in indifferent light.

Derbyshire have struggled for runs in recent seasons but they, too, ensured maximum bonus points at Headingley, posting 422 against Yorkshire in Division Two.

Wicketkeeper Luke Sutton and his captain Dominic Cork picked up where they left off on Friday night, taking their sixth-wicket stand to 159. Sutton completed his second century of the Championship season, scoring a watchful 127 off 281 balls with 12 fours, while the former England all-rounder made 92 with 13 boundaries.

The England left-arm paceman Ryan Sidebottom had taken the first four wickets to fall, and picked up three more to record career-best figures of 7 for 97. Yorkshire progressed to 203 for 4 in reply, skipper Anthony McGrath making 61 and Michael Vaughan contributing 47.

Division Two leaders Gloucestershire were looking to capitalise on their dismissal of Glamorgan for 139 at Cardiff but were thwarted by rain. The reply stalled on 232 for 4, Jonty Rhodes falling on 47.

In the National League Division One Kent were bowled out for 176 by Essex at Chelmsford after being reduced to 33 for 5, Graham Napier grabbing 3 for 9. The home side struggled to their target at 179 for 7 with two overs to spare.

In the North-east derby, Durham UCCE's captain Alex Loudon made an impressive 172 off 243 balls with 24 fours and a six as the students reached 332 for 5 against the county. Thomas Webley hit 104 against Northamptonshire at Fenner's as Cambridge declared on 299 for 5. Leicestershire amassed 497 for 2 against Loughborough at Grace Road as Darren Maddy, with an unbeaten 229, added 436 with Australian Brad Hodge, who made 202 not out. Hampshire called a halt at 262 for 4 at The Parks against Oxford, their captain Will Kendall scoring 114.

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