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Mushtaq clinches Sussex title win

india Updated: Sep 23, 2006 15:43 IST
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Pakistani leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed passed 100 wickets for the season to bowl Sussex to their second Championship title.

The 36-year-old took career-best figures of nine for 48 and a match haul of 13 for 108 as Sussex yesterday beat last year's champions Nottinghamshire by an innings and 245 runs at Trent Bridge.

Mushtaq -- who took 103 wickets in Sussex's maiden title summer of 2003 -- was responsible for the first six wickets to fall as Notts folded in notional pursuit of a highly remote 395 to make their opponents bat again.

But the modest Pakistani was quick to play down his individual brilliance.

"This is a family club and everyone plays for each other," he said.

"It's not an individual game - it's a team effort and I'm very glad and very lucky to be participating with Sussex."

"We feel like this is a family club and everybody plays for each other."

Rain in Nottingham delayed the start of the third day's play for 40 minutes with the home side set to resume on 50-4.

Only five overs were possible before lunch, James Bruce picking up his fifth wicket of the match by removing Iain Sutcliffe (11), who added just four to his overnight total.

Notts lasted just 16.3 overs before they were all out for 150 as the CetG Trophy winners completed the double.

"The real satisfaction is doing the double," said Sussex captain Chris Adams. "We put ourselves in a top-four bracket - but I think doing the double makes us the best team in county cricket this year."

"Everybody will talk about Mushy, as well as Rana (Naved-ul-Hasan) and (Yasir) Arafat," Adams said.

"But the beauty about this team is that we all do our bit when it is needed -- and then allow Mushtaq to do what he does.

"We have proved there is more to Sussex than using pitches conducive to leg-spin in four-day cricket; we are versatile, we cover most bases -- and 11 of the 18 players on the staff have come through the club."

Notts were left to sweat on the possibility of relegation if Yorkshire and Durham play out a draw, and Durham manage a maximum haul of batting bonus points.