Sussex promoted to Division One

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The Independent Online

Sussex secured promotion back to Division One of the LV= County Championship as they passed 350 in their first innings against Northamptonshire.

Sussex began the match needing eight points to ensure an immediate return to the top flight with a game to spare, following their relegation last season.

But Worcestershire's failure to secure maximum batting points against Middlesex cut that target to seven, and they had made a good start by skittling their visitors for 125 on day one at Hove.

They resumed their reply this morning on 236 for two, with one further point already in the bag, and eighth-wicket pair Yasir Arafat and Ollie Rayner took them beyond the crucial 350 mark shortly after lunch.

Division One leaders Nottinghamshire dismissed Yorkshire on a rain-affected morning at Trent Bridge to pick up what could be a crucial extra bowling point.

Notts had been skittled out by the third-placed Tykes for just 59 - their lowest total in 22 years.

When play finally resumed, Notts managed to quickly take the visitors' final two wickets to trail by 205, with captain Andrew Gale finishing unbeaten on 151 as Andre Adams completed a six-wicket haul.

By lunch, Notts were 45 without loss, still 160 behind, with Alex Hales unbeaten on 19 and Paul Franks 12 not out.

At Taunton, second-placed Somerset - who boosted their own chances by bowling out Lancashire for 259 - lost Arul Suppiah (13), nightwatchman Alfonso Thomas (eight) and James Hildreth (26), but an unbeaten 41 from Nick Compton had helped moved the hosts on to 133 for four.

There was no play in the morning session between Kent and Hampshire because of rain at Canterbury, but a resumption was possible after the interval.

At Chelmsford, Essex tore into Durham as the visitors, replying to 268, slumped to five for four.

However, Ben Harmison's 31 helped push them on to 72 for five by lunch.

Elsewhere in Division Two, fourth-placed Gloucestershire lost two quick wickets to Nadeem Malik before the break to go in on 117 for six at Leicester, 178 behind.

Glamorgan - who went into the penultimate round of County Championship matches in second place - were still struggling to finish off Surrey, who had made 343 for seven, after a delayed start due to bad light but did remove Gareth Batty for 34 just ahead of lunch.

At Lord's, Middlesex trailed Worcestershire by 236 runs having reached 77 for two off 23 overs with an unbeaten half-century from Scott Newman.