In four seasons as Sussex captain nothing has puzzled Chris Adams more than trying to figure out just what makes Jason Lewry tick.

At times Lewry gives the impression that he's carrying the weight of the world on his broad shoulders and not just the hopes of his team-mates.

Adams admits early in his captaincy that he found it hard discovering just what motivates his most enigmatic performer.

Lewry hates being compared to James Kirtley who took his 300th first-class wicket two matches before his partner. Kirtley has made his reputation on consistently hostile performances.

Lewry plays much more off the cuff but that doesn't mean he lacks potency. Far from it in fact and together there aren't too many better new ball pairs in county cricket.

"For a while I did find it hard to know what makes Jason tick, what motivates him," said Adams. "He can sometimes give the impression of being disinterested and getting into a negative frame of mind.

"But I have learned that is just the way he is, he doesn't lack motivation at all but I know that when he hits his spurs there is no other bowler in the country I would rather be able to call on."

Lewry well and truly hit his spurs on Saturday when he became the first Sussex bowler to take a hat-trick at Hove for 20 years.

He went on to take four more wickets in the innings, finishing with 7-42 as Hampshire, batting again 221 in arrears, were shot out for 108 in 25 overs.

It gave Lewry career-best match figures of 13-79 after his 6-37 in the first innings and propelled Sussex into second place in the Division Two table on the back of a fourth Championship win in five games achieved in four and a half sessions by the hefty margin of an innings and 113 runs.

By claiming his second Sussex hat-trick with the third, fourth and fifth balls of the first over to add to the four wickets he took in the space of ten deliveries at the end of Hampshire's first innings, Lewry also earned himself a place in Wisden.

That sequence of seven wickets in 14 balls was the best performance in the Championship since 1971 when Surrey spinner Pat Pocock took seven in 11 deliveries against a bewitched Sussex side at Eastbourne.

Remarkably Lewry had the opportunity of achieving a second hat-trick in the 15th over on Saturday, only for Tim Tremlett's immaculate forward defensive to deny him an unusual double.

When Lewry is in this sort of groove, with the ball darting into the right-handers from well outside off stump, the 30-year-old is without equal among English left-arm bowlers.

That's why Adams still believes Lewry could play international cricket.

Unfortunately, the selectors obviously disagree. By selecting Yorkshire's Ryan Sidebottom for the Lord's Test against Pakistan a couple of months ago, they seemed to be suggesting that Lewry's international career will be restricted to that single A team tour he made in 1998 which was cut short by a back problem.

Adams added: "We have two new ball bowlers here in Jason and James Kirtley who I believe could be playing Test and one-day cricket. Whether it will happen anyone knows, I just hope people who watch a lot of cricket back these boys and that the four England selectors sit up and take notice."

Once again on Saturday the ball swung prodigiously for Lewry under sullen skies, but he still had to put it in the right areas, something Hampshire left-armer Alan Mullally, who don't forget was playing for his country a fortnight ago, could only manage in fitful bursts.

His first victim was Derek Kenway who nudged the third ball of the match into Richard Montgomerie's hands at short leg. Will Kendall followed next ball leg before and, as a wonderfully animated Hove crowd worked themselves into a rare old lather, umpire Peter Willey upheld Lewry's frenzied lbw appeal to complete the hat-trick with the dismissal of Hampshire captain Robin Smith to another big inswinger, all three falling for golden ducks.

Giles White was bowled playing across the line at Kirtley to reduce Hampshire to 9-4 before Lewry charged in again after lunch. Dimitri Mascerenhas carved him to gully and, in his next over, Neil Johnson was caught behind, Adrian Aymes yorked and Alex Morris comprehensively bowled all in the space of four balls to leave Hampshire reeling on 42-8.

Lewry admitted that by then it was Adams who had to persuade him to keep going when his body was telling him it was time for a rest.

"I could hardly put one foot in front of the other at that stage," said Lewry, "I was dead on my feet, but the captain urged me to carry on. But when it's your day you want to keep going, it was going for me and I wanted to make the most of it."

There was nothing in a slow pitch to worry batsman and when Lewry did show signs of fatigue Shaun Udal and Chris Tremlett were at least able to save Hampshire from total embarassment by putting on 47 in eight overs before Kirtley and Billy Taylor got in on the act to wrap up victory shortly after 3.00pm.

It wasn't a one-man show by Sussex, far from it infact as Lewry was happy to acknowledge.

In the morning Michael Yardy made a career-best 87 not out as Sussex's last three wickets put on 81 to take their lead to 221 and secure a third batting bonus point.

Lewry now has 40 Championship wickets and Sussex are looking a good bet for the first division.

Scores: Hampshire 81 (Lewry 6-37) & 108 (Lewry 7-42) v Sussex 302 (Yardy 87 no, Adams 71) Sussex (18pts) beat Hampshire (3pts) by an innings and 113 runs