Alfonso Thomas made history as he claimed four wickets in four balls on the third morning of Sussex’s clash with Somerset at Taunton.

Thomas became the first Somerset player to ever achieve the feat when he removed James Anyon, Rory Hamilton-Brown, Ed Joyce and Matt Machan with successive balls.

It was only the 38th time it had happened in the history of first class cricket and the first in England since 2000. It had never been done at Taunton before and put Somerset in a very strong position to win this game today.

Sussex had taken their score from 26-0 overnight to 33-0 when Thomas made his initial breakthrough, bowling Anyon for 18 off an inside edge.

Hamilton-Brown was lbw to a yorker which struck him on the boot and then Joyce – a centurion in the first innings – edged to the wicketkeeper.

That was the end of Thomas’s over but the carnage continued as Chris Nash was caught at first slip off the bowling of Peter Trego for 12.

When Thomas bowled Machan for a low full toss with the first ball of his next over Sussex had lost five wickets in the space of ten balls without adding to their score.

Ben Brown ensured Thomas did not become the first bowler to ever take five wickets in five balls by blocking out the next delivery and along with Luke Wright began the huge task of trying to repair the damage.

Together they put on 46 for the sixth wicket to make a mockery of the earlier collapse and by lunch Sussex had reached 79-5, leading by four runs.