High quality seam bowling by Sajid Mahmood, Kyle Hogg and Oliver Newby ensured that Lancashire restricted Sussex to 240 all out, a first innings lead of just of four runs, on the last day of the drawn Division One match at Old Trafford.
The excellence of this trio helped the Red Rose side to fulfil their twin objectives of collecting a full haul of four bowling bonus points themselves and preventing their opponents from garnering five batting points.
Lancashire's openers had faced just two balls of their second innings when bad light brought an early end to the rain-wrecked contest. Both teams took eight points from the match, an outcome which will please fifth-placed Lancashire rather more than it will Sussex, who still occupy one of the relegation places.
The honours in the 65-minute morning session were claimed by Sajid Mahmood, who trapped Ed Joyce in his crease for 40 in the third over of the day, and then had Murray Goodwin caught behind by Luke Sutton when the Zimbabwean had added 42 with Michael Yardy for the third wicket.
Mahmood's two for 29 in his eight over spell before lunch offered ample evidence that he has recovered from his side injury, and he even returned to the attack in mid-afternoon to claim the final wicket of Corey Colleymore, a scalp which left him with four wickets in the innings at a cost of 89 runs.
Nevertheless, Sussex went into lunch on 164 for three and had taken their score to 190 for no further loss 25 minutes after the resumption when Hogg and Newby sparked a collapse which saw six wickets fall for 19 runs in eight overs.
Newby started the slide when he had Michael Yardy caught behind for 86 although this dismissal required the co-operation of the batsman whose annoyance at the loose waft he had played was as obvious as Newby's joy.
In the next over Andrew Hodd was well taken by V V S Laxman at slip off Hogg's bowling although the Hyderabad captain was to produce an even better snare off the same bowler to dispose of Carl Hopkinson for 19 two overs later.
In between these catches, Newby had Dwayne Smith lbw for eight as the disintegration of the Sussex innings proceeded apace. Robin Martin-Jenkins was another lbw victim, this time to the bowling of Hogg, before the Newby-Laxman combination accounted for Ollie Rayner. A game which could only end in a draw had been transformed and who can tell what the consequences for each side might be when the final league placings are decided in three weeks' time?
For Oliver Newby, however, the afternoon was a source of very obvious and immediate satisfaction. "We had a tough job to do today but we thought if we could take a wicket others might follow, and Kyle and I took four in four overs," he said.
"I got the ball to move away from the left-handers but there wasn't that much movement from the right handers. I though we just bowled decent areas and the pitch had a bit of bounce which we used. It feels very good.
Nor was Newby oblivious to the consequences of Lancashire's performance. "We had a look at the table and it's all getting a bit tight, so as many points as we can scrap out is good work for the team."
"I think I've bowled well in patches but I've still got to work on my consistency but I've been doing some work on my action and hopefully the consistency will come. I used to have big "lean back" so now I'm trying to stay level when I get to the crease. It feels strange but it came out OK today and I'm now looking at the next game."
Lancashire head coach Peter Moores was also in positive mood at the conclusion of the match. "It was a double success for us. We collected our bonus points but we restricted Sussex to one batting point and anyone who looks at the table knows that it's very tight, so both things were important.
"We're responded to a below par batting performance with a good bowling performance. We've seen Kyle grow game to game and become a bit of a run-miser. When the opportunity comes he really puts people under pressure. I'm really pleased for Olly because he's working hard to get more consistency and I think he achieved that today. He looked like a proper strike bowler."
Now I think we're quite capable of going to Taunton and getting a win but it's always a good batting deck down there.
"The key now is to finish well. Can we finsh well in the Pro40 and can we make sure we maintain our First Division status? If we can achieve both of those objectives I think we'll look back on it as a very satisfying season in what has been a transition year which we knew it was going to be."
Photo: Simon Pendrigh
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd