Runners-up spot slips further away from Notts

Somerset's Craig Kieswetter.Somerset's Craig Kieswetter.
Somerset's Craig Kieswetter.
Chris Nash made his first century of the season a big one as Sussex compromised Nottinghamshire’s hopes of a runners-up spot in LV= County Championship Division One.

After Yorkshire sealed the title against Notts last week, Chris Read’s team need a win over Sussex to keep the onus on Warwickshire in second place.

But opener Nash (178) made sure it would be no easy task for the hosts at Trent Bridge, dominating hundred stands with Ed Joyce and Craig Cachopa before finishing with almost half his team’s total and 32 fours from 235 balls.

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He eventually became a third victim for Gary Keedy, who – exactly 20 years on from his first-class debut – shared six wickets with Luke Fletcher, with Sussex reaching 358-9.

Towards the other end of the table, Middlesex need a high-scoring draw or victory at Somerset if they are to send Lancashire down before they have to travel to Old Trafford next week.

Fit-again Craig Kieswetter (69), James Hildreth (70no) and youngster Tom Abell (50) gave the Londoners plenty to ponder at Taunton, in a stumps total of 266-5.

Bad light and drizzle prevented any play between Durham and bottom-of-the-table Northamptonshire at Chester-le-Street.

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In Division Two, Hampshire are strong favourites to clinch the second promotion position ahead of Essex.

They also still have a chance of catching leaders Worcestershire but will be primarily concerned about the possible danger below them until the deal is sealed – and Essex’s progress away to bottom club Leicestershire can have done nothing to reassure them.

Jesse Ryder took a career-best 5-50, and Graham Napier 3-43, as the hosts were hustled out in little more than a session for 138 –despite 54 from Dan Redfern.

Essex then powered in front on 153-3, before rain brought a slightly early close.

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Hampshire had a much more taxing day against Kent at the Ageas Bowl, where opener Daniel Bell-Drummond hit a career-best 135 not out and shared an unbroken stand of 226 with in-form Sam Northeast (115no) to put the visitors in good shape on 312-3.