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REPORT: From Mags to riches at Hove as Sussex take upper hand


Steve Magoffin took four wickets and Amjad Khan three as Sussex took the upper hand on Day One of their LV=County Championship Division One match with Worcestershire at The PROBIZ County Ground, Hove today.

The day had a drizzly feel to it despite the warm-ups taking place on time but the toss was delayed until 10.45am when Ed Joyce, who had been named as Sussex’s new captain after Michael Yardy stepped down from four-day and 40-over captaincy yesterday, won the toss and elected to field first.

There was no action until 2.15pm though once showers continued but when play did begin, the sun shone down on Hove and made for a pleasant afternoon’s cricket. Sussex remained unchanged from their draw with Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge whilst Worcestershire made one chance to the side which beat Lancashire, bringing in Jack Shantry in place of Shaaiq Choudhry.

James Anyon and Magoffin conceded very few runs as they opened the bowling and it was Magoffin who struck first, removing Australian overseas Phil Hughes in the 8th over for only 11, his lowest Championship score of the season. Shaping the ball away from the left-hander, he edged off the shoulder of the bat to Yardy at second slip who took an excellent high catch away to his left.

And the visitors could only add two more runs before Magoffin, playing against his former County, bowled Vikram Solanki for only a single to put Sussex firmly in the driving seat. Captain Daryl Mitchell was the next to go, who after taking 65 balls over his 8 runs, edged to Joyce at slip who took a comfortable catch off the bowling of Khan.

Moeen Ali and James Cameron put on 36 before the tea interval and they could add no more before Anyon got in on the act when play resumed, ripping out Cameron’s stumps to reduce Worcestershire to 68 for 4. Four became five when he claimed his second wicket shortly after, using his extra bounce to account for Matt Pardoe who edged another high catch to Yardy at slip.

The Worcestershire batsmen, Ali apart, never got to grips with Sussex’s bowling attack for any sustained period and Andrew was the next man to fall, a thin edge from Khan gratefully received by Ben Brown behind the stumps. Ben Scott, the seventh wicket down, was a soft dismissal as he chipped Magoffin to Anyon at mid-on with Worcestershire then reduced to 107 for 7.

Moeen finally ended his effort on 43 as he became Magoffin’s fourth victim, pulling a short ball to Luke Wright at mid-wicket. Both Richard Jones and Shantry showed some late order promise from Worcestershire and it wasn’t until the latter flashed at a wide one from Khan was he dismissed, somewhat to his disbelief, as Brown to the catch on a thin edge behind.

Alan Richardson’s big swing from Monty Panesar who bowled him through the gate ensured Worcestershire were all out for 162, leaving Sussex to negotiate the final seven overs of the day and reach 22 without loss.

With Sussex well on top in this match, play resumes at 11.00am tomorrow morning at The PROBIZ.

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