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Last Updated: Friday, 25 April, 2003, 12:31 GMT 13:31 UK
Middlesex suffer Sussex trouble
Division One

When bad light improved an hour into the third morning at Lord's, Middlesex stumbled in their chase for an improbable 328 to down Sussex.

Having finally bowled the south coast side out for 204, the hosts lost Sven Koenig for seven on their way to 55-1 at lunch.

Stand-in skipper Mark Ealham hit 82 as Kent built an increasingly difficult target for Leicestershire to chase at Canterbury.

Undaunted by predecessor Paul Nixon's second day century, new Kent wicket-keeper Geraint Jones was 36 not out at lunch, with the hosts 244-6 - 219 runs ahead.

Nottinghamshire were forced to wait until the afternoon to build on their Chris Cairns-inspired recovery against Lancashire.

The New Zealander was 51 not out while rain fell at Old Trafford.

And Essex were frustrated by bad weather for a second day at Edgbaston, Warwickshire having declared on their overnight 446-7, with Jim Troughton 129 not out.

Division Two

Rain again proved a pain at Wantage Road, where an hour's play was possible before the bad weather stopped Gloucestershire's innings at 114-1 against Northamptonshire.

Opener Craig Spearman was 68 not out at the time, with the visitors 238 runs behind on first innings.

Rain prevented play before lunch at Sophia Gardens, with Glamorgan hoping for more as they needed 253 more runs to avoid the follow-on against Hampshire.

But a result remained likely despite a rain-ruined third morning at Taunton, with Durham 153-5 in their second innings - 167 ahead of Somerset.

Other matches

Surrey's bowlers failed to make the breakthrough needed for victory, with just two wickets falling in the Loughborough UCCE second innings on the final morning at The Oval.

Hampshire batsman John Francis and Vikram Atri of Notts shared an unbeaten partnership of to take the students to 119-2 at lunch - still 338 in arrears but with time running out.

Skipper Ben Smith was dismissed for 63 as Worcestershire and Oxford UCCE headed for a draw on their final day at The Parks.

At lunch the county were 348-5 in reply to their hosts' first innings 231.

Just 12 overs of player were possible on the final morning at Derby's Racecourse Ground.

Bradford/Leeds UCCE batsman Chris Elstub made his way to 26 not out against Derbyshire in another match destined for a draw.




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