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Page last updated at 13:09 GMT, Saturday, 8 May 2010 14:09 UK

Malan steers Middlesex to victory over Sussex

Middlesex 296 & 243-7 beat Sussex 217 & 321 by three wickets
Middlesex 21 pts, Sussex 4 pts
Match scorecard

Dawid Malan
Malan has now hit two Championship centuries for Middlesex this season

Dawid Malan hit only the third first-class century of his career to steer Middlesex to a first win of the season over Division Two leaders Sussex.

Sussex seemed within sight of a fifth successive Championship victory when they had Middlesex 122-5 overnight.

But Malan extended his sixth wicket stand with Gareth Berg (49) to 127.

And, after losing Berg and Tom Smith, Tim Murtagh helped Malan (100 no) put on the final 21 needed at Hove to reach 243-7 and earn a three-wicket win.

Malan struck the winning runs in the fourth over after lunch to reach his second hundred of the season - and it also took the 22-year-old left-hander to a healthy 400 Championship runs in five games this season.

Sussex stay top despite suffering their first defeat after four successive wins.

And they will be disappointed not to have extended their run having had Middlesex on the ropes at 78-5 on Friday afternoon.

The game was effectively won in the first hour as Malan and Berg took full advantage of some wayward bowling to add 83 in 17 overs.

Both Rana Naved, who was also plagued by over-stepping as Sussex conceded 37 extras, and Corey Collymore struggled for rhythm.

And, when skipper Murray Goodwin turned to left-arm spinner Monty Panesar, his four overs cost 30 runs, including a horrible full toss which Malan pulled out of the ground and into an adjoining garden for six, forcing the umpires to change the ball.

Having already added 44 overnight, they had stretched that to 127 in 31 overs when Robin Martin-Jenkins trapped Berg leg before playing across the line to claim his sixth wicket of the match and 22nd of the season - only one fewer than he managed throughout 2009.

Former Sussex player Smith then helped add a further 17 before he was athletically taken down the leg side by Matt Prior off James Anyon.

But Sussex's last hope of victory effectively went when Michael Thornely, diving to his left at extra cover, put down a difficult chance offered by Murtagh on six.

With nine still needed, Middlesex were unable to finish the game off before lunch. But Malan hit the first ball after the break from Panesar to the boundary to relieve the tension in the visitors' dressing room before finding a gap on the leg side to win the game with a single and compete his century.

Acting skipper Andrew Strauss told BBC London 94.9:

"Its been a tough start to the season. We've been in positions to possibly win some of the other games but haven't been able to do it.

"There was a bit of pressure on us in this game to actually finally get off the mark for the season.

"I'm really pleased we've been able to do it. And Dawid Malan was exceptional in the way he played."

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see also
Hodd puts Sussex in sight of win
07 May 10 |  Counties
Dexter puts Sussex on back foot
06 May 10 |  Counties
Unbeaten Prior ton boosts Sussex
05 May 10 |  Counties

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