Sussex 597-8 dec Yorkshire 247 & 89: Adams has title in sight as Yorkshire are blown away

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The Independent Online

Sussex are back on top of the Championship table and on the evidence of the last three days are going to take some shifting.

They condemned the previous leaders to the second heaviest innings defeat in their history with more than four sessions to spare, and now hold a five-point lead. They will head to Durham next week, where they have never lost a Championship match, in the mood to claim a third title in six seasons.

There was almost an inevitability about events here yesterday once Yorkshire were forced to follow on 350 behind, but even the most one-eyed of their supporters would have been forced to hide behind their deckchairs during an abject second innings that lasted only 44 overs.

And the sense that Sussex were toying with their rivals was emphasised when Yorkshire's first-innings destroyer Mushtaq Ahmed bowled a solitary over in their second innings.

Instead, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan removed Michael Vaughan during a hostile new ball spell before Yorkshire's resistance – if you could call it that – was blown away in a seven-over spell from left-armer Jason Lewry who reverse-swung a ball only 29 overs old to remove Anthony McGrath, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Jacques Rudolph. The rest came quietly, Rana Naved finishing things off in style by taking the last three wickets in five balls.

Afterwards, Sussex captain Chris Adams made the usual noises about the dangers of complacency but admitted: "It's in our hands now, which is the position you want to be in with two games to go. People might say we are clear favourites but this has been the tightest season I can remember and I suspect it will go down to the wire."

The continued rehabilitation of Saqlain Mushtaq offered further encouragement for the champions. After two major knee operations even the most routine chase in the field looks desperately hard work for the 31-year-old but there is still magic in his fingers and he spun his off-breaks sharply to take three wickets in a 17-over spell.

Sussex had wrapped up Yorkshire's first innings for the addition of 67 runs in the morning. Only Adil Rashid, with a third successive half-century, offered much resistance. Rashid last night won the young player of the year award from the Cricket Writers Club, which will have been some consolation.

Coach Martyn Moxon admitted:. "We were outplayed and need a miracle to win the title," he said.

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