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REPORT: Sussex wrap up nine wicket win on day three


Sussex completed a home and away double against Worcestershire as they secured their fifth win of the Specsavers County Championship season at a gloomy New Road on Tuesday.

In contrast to the conditions, the cricket was far from dull as Sussex’s irresistible bowling attack made light work of taking the home side’s twelve remaining wickets. 

Heavy overnight rain meant no play on the morning of day three. Resuming on 231-8 after an early lunch, Worcestershire fell 13 runs short of avoiding the follow on despite the best efforts of impressive all-rounder Ed Barnard (65*), as Chris Jordan and David Wiese took the final two wickets.

After consulting with his seamers, Sussex captain Ben Brown asked Worcestershire to bat again, a decision that paid off quickly as Wiese made inroads.

Taking the new ball, Wiese dismissed Daryll Mitchell and Tom Fell in his fourth and fifth overs - Fell providing Harry Finch with his sixth catch of the match – to leave 
Worcestershire in big trouble at 19-2. 

It wasn’t long before the 32-year-old South African took his and Sussex’s third wicket as Joe Clarke was bowled through the gate by a seaming delivery with the score on 41.

Stuart Whittingham’s introduction into the attack brought two more wickets, before tea brought some respite for Worcestershire.

A sixth wicket stand of 44 held Sussex up for a while after the interval, before a devastating over from Jofra Archer saw three wickets fall in five balls.

Cox was the first to go, trapped in front, before Joe Leach edged to Chris Jordan in the slips the very next ball.

Archer very nearly had a hat-trick as John Hastings flashed at an away-swinger, but the Australian got away with it as the ball just evaded his outside edge.

Hastings’ stay of execution was short-lived, however, as two balls later he offered a return catch that Archer gladly accepted. 

Archer’s efforts took him to the top of this season’s list of Championship wicket takers. His 49 dismissals put him one ahead of Essex off-spinner, Simon Harmer. 

At the other end, Barnard watched on helplessly as Worcestershire slipped to 110-8, still 52 runs short of making Sussex bat again.

To his credit, Barnard was able to do that as – last man out - he made 46 and dragged his side up to a total of 170 all out.

This left Sussex requiring nine runs to win; a target that they duly reached in the third over for the loss of Luke Wells, as first team debutant, Angus Robson, cut Barnard for four. 

The victory brought Sussex 23 points, enough to lift them to third in the Division Two table, level on points with Kent, who have one fewer win, and 17 points behind Worcestershire in second, who have played an extra game. 

A win or draw for Northamptonshire in their ongoing game against Gloucestershire may see Sussex leapfrogged tomorrow, but in any case, the battle for promotion is well and truly on.

After five wins in their last seven matches, Sussex will go into their next Championship match against Glamorgan at Colywn Bay brimming with confidence.

Before then there is the small matter of trying to secure a quarter final spot in the NatWest T20 Blast, beginning with a trip to Lord’s on Thursday night. 

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