County championship: Sussex innings win is a first defeat for Worcs

Vernon Philander
Vernon Philander

Sussex handed Worcestershire their first Specsavers County Championship defeat of the season after wrapping up an innings victory at Hove.

The Sussex seam attack took advantage of a pitch offering plenty of uneven bounce on the final day to dismiss Worcestershire for 260 50 minutes after lunch and complete their second win of the season by an innings and seven runs.

Sussex captain Chris Nash said: "It was an excellent win for us. The bowlers did a fantastic job for us on the last two days but I'd go back to the first morning when it was quite tough to bat and Harry Finch and Luke Wells did a fantastic job in difficult conditions to set the game up for us.

"Worcestershire are a good side but I think when we get it together we are a match for anyone in this division. It was a really good team performance. We know that if we can get runs on the board we have a bowling attack who are going to make life hard for any side.

"We just need to find that consistency now. We've won two games and if we can win a couple more before the T20 starts we'll be in a good position. There is still a lot of Championship cricket to be played but we're moving in the right direction."

Sussex looked like winning a lot earlier after taking two wickets in the first five overs after Worcestershire resumed on 124 for 4, still needing 143 runs to make their hosts bat again.

Vernon Philander produced a brute of a ball that climbed and left Ben Cox (3) which the batsman touched to second slip.

Worcestershire had added just four runs to their overnight score when they lost their sixth wicket as Jofra Archer, generating good pace from the sea end, nipped one back onto night-watchman Josh Tongue’s off stump.

Worcestershire were 128 for 6 at that stage but seventh-wicket pair Ross Whiteley and Ed Barnard frustrated Sussex for the rest of the morning session as they added 79 in 25 overs.

Whiteley was twice reprieved by Sussex skipper Chris Nash at second slip, first off Philander and then Archer, and both batsmen were struck on the body by short-of-a-length deliveries which rose sharply.

With rain forecast, Worcestershire began the afternoon session confident of saving the game but in the first over after the resumption Stiaan van Zyl drew Barnard (21) forward and a thin edge was taken by wicketkeeper Michael Burgess.

Whiteley went to 50, from 102 balls with eight fours, but after adding three more runs his brave resistance ended when David Wiese, armed with the new ball, cut one back off the seam to find the edge.

Philander cleverly held one back and Joe Leach (23) drove to mid-on and the South African secured victory when he had Jack Shantry (11) held at second slip.

Sussex take 23 points and Worcestershire 4 and it was a much-needed win for the hosts as they look to claw back the early advantage established by Nottinghamshire and Kent at the top of the second division.