Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

County Battle Away But Sussex Clash Ends In Draw

County Battle Away But Sussex Clash Ends In Draw

Worcestershire had to be content with a fifth successive draw in the Specsavers County Championship after a battling last day effort from their bowlers against Sussex at New Road.

Sussex began day four on 137-3 – still needing 76 more runs to avoid an innings defeat.

The County attack pulled out all of the stops in an attempt to force victory as skipper Daryl Mitchell rang the changes.

Matt Henry bowled a particularly fine spell before lunch in which he dismissed his compatriot Ross Taylor, had a chance put down and saw other edges not go to hand.

He then returned during the final session to claim two more wickets and finish with figures of 4-122 from 31 overs.

The whole attack could not be faulted for effort but Sussex also batted with great application to earn a share of the spoils with several useful partnerships down the order.

Although there had been heavy early morning rain, sterling work by the groundstaff helped ensure play got underway on time.

Ed Barnard and Henry were first into the attack and the latter twice saw Taylor pick up boundaries to third man.

There was a minor interruption for rain which resulted in the loss of three overs before the second new ball was taken at 179-3 off 81 overs.

Lewis Hatchett helped Taylor to add 52 in 20 overs for the fourth wicket. But Leach ended Hatchett's resistance by bowling him for 17 with the total 183-4 in the 85th over.

Taylor leg glanced Leach for four to move onto 49 and then a single off Henry took him to his half century from 98 balls with seven boundaries.

A cover-drive by the same player at Henry's expense raised the Sussex 200.

But he had an escape on 56 after edging Henry to Mitchell at second slip with the total on 217-4.

Henry bowled with plenty of pace and finally got his reward for an excellent spell when bowling Taylor for 62.

Machan opted for an attacking approach and raced to a 40 ball half century.

Leach ended his knock on 66 – from 70 balls with one six and seven fours – when keeper Ben Cox held onto a superb one-handed catch after moving sharply to his left.

He had added 55 with Harry Finch who completed a maiden Championship half century.

Worcestershire kept plugging away and Finch, after adding 60 with Ben Brown, became a victim of Mitchell.

He brought himself into the attack and held onto a return catch by Finch (57) from his fifth delivery.

Henry returned to the attack after tea and trapped Ben Brown lbw for 29 and accounted for Steve Magoffin (16) who was caught by Leach at mid off.

The game eventually ended with handshakes with Sussex on 411-9 – a lead of 198.