Fidel Edwards helps Hampshire leave Sussex teetering on the brink

• Hampshire in control after day three at Trent Bridge
• Sussex must bat out a day at Headingley to avoid relegation

If you miss, we will hit. That is the message Hampshire emphatically sent their south coast rivals Sussex on the penultimate day of the season. Sussex know a draw at Yorkshire is enough to save them from relegation but, with Hampshire poised to beat Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, defeat would be disastrous for Sussex.

Hampshire had a magnificent third day in Nottingham, cutting the first-innings deficit to only 14 having been 89 for five, then bowling the hosts out for 185 and setting off at a gallop in pursuit of their target of 200. Michael Carberry and Jimmy Adams took them to 89 without loss at the close, thanks to some sharp running and a raft of boundaries. Stuart Broad was particularly expensive, conceding boundaries in each of his three overs.

Earlier, after Gareth Berg and Ryan McLaren brought up fifties and extended their partnership to 126, Fidel Edwards once again located his straps as his four for 57 gave him a 10-wicket haul for the match and finished Nottinghamshire’s second innings in a hurry, their final seven wickets falling for 34. Defeat for Nottinghamshire would cede second place – and the hefty wad of prize money that comes with it – to Middlesex. Edwards bowled with pace and reverse swing to gut Nottinghamshire after a fine start, with Brendan Taylor making 90 only to try to hit Liam Dawson inside out and finding mid-off.

Carberry and Adams’ stand puts Hampshire firmly in control of the match but, beyond winning, they have no control of their Division One status. That lies with the game at Headingley, where all three results remain possible but a push for a Sussex win seems unlikely. They started a rain-interrupted day in fine fashion as Steve Magoffin bowled Gary Ballance but steady performances from Yorkshire’s middle order doused their hopes.

Yorkshire lost five for 65 in the afternoon before Tim Bresnan guided them to a lead of 301 – with one wicket in hand – by the close as Jack Brooks was caught behind off the day’s final ball. Sussex’s batting has been shaky in recent weeks and they must now bat nearly a whole day to save their Division One status.

After Somerset sealed survival on Wednesday with a flurry of wickets, feet were taken off the gas at Taunton, where Warwickshire are well-placed to overturn a 114-run first-innings deficit to win after an inspired day for Jeetan Patel. First, the New Zealander made 98 before becoming Jack Leach’s seventh wicket, stumped by his compatriot Luke Ronchi, then Patel took seven wickets of his own as Somerset were bundled out for 110 in 34 overs. Warwickshire made it through 11 overs unscathed in response.

In Division Two, Jimmy Anderson registered his best figures for Lancashire, seven for 77, by picking up Essex’s last three wickets but his side’s hopes of the title drifted at Chelmsford, where a result looks highly unlikely.

At Derby, Mark Footitt sealed the first 10-wicket haul of his career, as Mark Cosgrove scored a century for a Leicestershire side pushing for victory, while Chris Dent scored 268 for Gloucestershire in a high-scoring fixture at Bristol.

• This story was amended on 25 September 2015 to correct the identity of one of the scorers of half-centuries for Hampshire from Fidel Edwards to Ryan McLaren; to state that Stuart Broad conceded boundaries in each of his three overs (not three boundaries in each of three overs); and to credit Liam Dawson of Hampshire, not Notts’ Samit Patel, with the wicket of Brendan Taylor.


Will Macpherson

The GuardianTramp

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