Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Battling Worcs Go Down On Final Day At Hove

Worcestershire lost a steady stream of wickets on the final day and were beaten by 62 runs in the LV = County Championship Division One clash with Sussex at Hove.

The county resumed on 47-0 – needing another 200 – and were dismissed for 185 mid-way through the afternoon session after a last wicket stand of 51 between Ben Cox (48 not out) and Charlie Morris – the second highest of the innings.

Worcestershire had been well in contention for the opening three days, battling back with great determination when Sussex were well placed in their first innings after Matt Machan's rapid ton, and again in the home side's second innings.

They had also fought hard with the bat to earn a first innings lead of 44 thanks to Richard Oliver's century, 93 from Alexei Kervezee and 70 from Gareth Andrew.

But the county batsmen found it difficult to combat the threat of Sussex paceman Ajmal Shahzad today who returned his first five wicket haul for four years.

Daryl Mitchell and Richard Oliver extended their opening partnership to 57 before Steve Magoffin struck, trapping the Worcestershire skipper lbw for 21 with a delivery which came back in and kept low.

Shahzad then claimed a decisive three wicket burst for Sussex.

He bowled Oliver for 27 with a swinging yorker and made two breakthroughs in the space of three deliveries.

Alex Gidman was adjudged lbw for seven and then Tom Kohler-Cadmore (0) was caught behind by keeper Ben Brown after slashing at the former Nottinghamshire paceman.

Shahzad (9-1-29-3) was replaced by Matt Hobden who trapped Alexei Kervezee lbw for seven to leave Worcestershire on 91-5.

Tom Fell cover-drove Hobden for four as he moved into the 20s.

But on 21 Fell became the fourth player of the morning to be given out lbw – to spinner Ashar Zaidi.

Ben Cox was joined by Gareth Andrew and the pair added 17 runs.

But at 116 the impressive Shahzad returned to the attack and knocked two stumps out of the ground in bowling Andrew for seven. Worcestershire reached 127-7 at lunch with Cox on 15 and Jack Shantry one. 

Shantry did not add to his total before a fifth lbw of the day led to his dismissal at the hands of Magoffin.

Shahzad completed his first five wicket haul since 2011 when Sachithra Senanayake (1) was caught behind.

Cox and Morris showed plenty of defiance before the latter was caught by Sussex skipper Ed Joyce off Luke Wells.