Streak and Frost are too cool for Sussex

Warwickshire 346 & 205-7 Sussex 482-9 dec Match drawn

All season it has been their batting which has sustained Warwickshire's Championship challenge and yesterday that was underlined in emphatic fashion by a cussed, unbroken eighth-wicket stand which dragged them back from the brink of defeat against the only side with any realistic chance of pipping them to the title.

All season it has been their batting which has sustained Warwickshire's Championship challenge and yesterday that was underlined in emphatic fashion by a cussed, unbroken eighth-wicket stand which dragged them back from the brink of defeat against the only side with any realistic chance of pipping them to the title.

Sussex were frozen out by Tony Frost, who is rapidly becoming their nemesis, having scored a hundred at Horsham earlier this season and a dogged 48 in the first innings.

He and Heath Streak's determination assured Warwickshire of the draw - their ninth of this campaign - and leaves them unbeaten thus far and looking for just a further 20 points from their remaining two matches to guarantee them the Championship.

When Frost and Streak joined forces Warwickshire were still four runs away from making Sussex bat again, tea was looming, and, more worryingly, so was defeat, but by the end they had been together for 28 tense overs spread across two anxious hours, having added 73 runs and frustrated the fire out of Sussex.

The pair of them were fearless against the wiles of Pakistani leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed, the pace and accuracy of James Kirtley and the perils of Mohammad Akram.

Earlier, caution had been the priority after they set out 136 runs adrift on the first innings after Sussex's overnight declaration, on a pitch that was deadly slow and showing some variable bounce.

Kirtley had quickly claimed the 500th wicket of his First Class career when his yorker knocked back Mark Wagh's leg stump. Shortly after that Warwickshire found themselves in even worse trouble when Akram accounted for Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott in the space of three telling balls.

There then followed two-and-a-quarter hours of obduracy from captain Nick Knight and his predecessor Michael Powell, before the former was bowled attempting to cut Mushtaq, just after lunch. When Powell became Akram's third victim the innings was creaking and the home fans were groaning.

The departure of the last two recognised batsmen, Jim Troughton and Dougie Brown, brought the two heroes together and they showed their betters how to stick around to turn a crisis into a dramatic draw.

The draw leaves Sussex 47 points behind Warwickshire and with the possibility, if they win all three of their remaining games with a maximum points haul of 221, of passing Warwickshire if they should fail to get the 20 points they need. So Warwickshire have the matches at Worcester next week and at Northampton a fortnight later in which to gather the necessary and lift their first title, unless Sussex stumble in the round of matches between, when Warwickshire have to cool their heels. But the destiny of the Championship now looks a foregone conclusion, 10 seasons after they last took the title, Warwickshire have the prize in sight.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders