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Adams takes five for Sussex

By Charles Randall at Hove

20 July 1998

ENGLAND have asked to be kept informed about Mark Ramprakash's bout of tonsillitis over the weekend, which kept him out of Middlesex's two AXA League games in two days against the two bottom counties.

Middlesex's title aspirations took a knock without their captain, because they lost to Surrey on Sunday and struggled when they batted against Sussex in last night's floodlit game at Hove. There was little here to speed Ramprakash's recovery.

Sussex, for their second night game of the summer, hired the best lights available - handsome, powerful equipment using eight pylons hoping to record their first league win at Hove for a calendar year, but no doubt because of the threat of a rain shower, which duly arrived, the crowd numbered only about 3,000.

The spectators who took the trouble to attend were rewarded by some remarkable bowling from Chris Adams, who claimed five wickets with his medium-pacers for a song - and there was plenty of music on the public address.

Before then he had taken three league wickets in his career. There must have been something in the seaside air, because he bowled accurately at an awkward pace.

Middlesex's batting was strangely patchy as they lost two wickets in an over on four occasions. The rot started when the irrepressible Adams ran out Justin Langer in the third over with a direct hit, which nearly everyone thought was not out until the third umpire proved otherwise on television.

Middlesex could not blame the lights for their mediocre innings in a match reduced to 35 overs. Forked lightning and the lights gave a theatrical feel to the cricket before the rain intervened in the 23rd over.

Robin Martin-Jenkins had already tied down Middlesex before the interruption, and two wickets fell in two balls on resumption, when Owais Shah holed out and David Nash changed his mind fatally about a sweep.

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Date-stamped : 21 Jul1998 - 06:33