Thursday, September 15th, 2022


Worcestershire had to settle for a draw after an unbeaten century from Tom Alsop was primarily responsible for Sussex defying their attack on the final day of the LV=Insurance County Championship match at Hove.

The home side, who faced a first innings deficit of 218, had reached 312-6 – a lead of 94 – when the two sides shook hands with 13 overs remaining.

Club Captain, Brett D’Oliveira, rotated the seamers, and Joe Leach and Ben Gibbon bowled well from the Sea End during the morning session.

Keeper Gareth Roderick also produced a stunning catch to dismiss Tom Clark, and the entire attack stuck to their task and made Sussex work hard to wipe out their deficit.

But batting became easier as the ball went softer on a pitch which had clearly flattened out and Alsop ended undefeated on 137.

Worcestershire were also frustrated by the loss of more than 100 overs during the game to the weather after bowling out Sussex for 220 on the opening day when Joe Leach reached 400 first class wickets in his career.

Jake Libby’s magnificent career-best 215 helped them achieve maximum batting points and a total of 438-5 from 100 overs.

But Worcestershire were forced to pull out and declare earlier than they would have wanted instead of being able to bat Sussex right out of the game by posting an even bigger first innings total.

Worcestershire collected 16 points from their final away game of the summer – eight for a draw, three for bowling, and five for batting.

Sussex resumed on 39-1 with Leach and Josh Tongue sharing the attack with a ball which was only ten overs old.

Tongue made the first breakthrough with 11 runs added when he bowled nightwatchman Brad Currie (7) through the gate in his third over of the day.

Ali Orr (38) looked in good touch, but he fell to Gibbon after the left arm seamer came into the attack.

Orr was pinned on the back foot in front of the stumps and was lbw at 88-3.

Sussex did not lose another wicket before lunch, and with an over rate of ‘-3’ showing on the scoreboard, Club Captain Brett D’Oliveira and fellow spinner, Jake Libby, bowled in tandem for a spell leading up to the interval.

The over rate was amended to ‘+ 2’ and it was Dillon Pennington who claimed the fourth breakthrough thanks to a superb catch by keeper Roderick.

Clark on 36 nibbled at a delivery after Pennington came around the wicket, and Roderick pulled off a magnificent diving one-handed catch to his right.

Sussex were then still 47 runs in arrears, and Oli Carter had some slices of good fortunes during the early part of his innings.

He flicked at a ball from Pennington which flew just wide of leg slip, and then was beaten for pace by Tongue with a pull which hit the splice of the bat and flew just wide of Libby at mid wicket.

Alsop was strong off his legs and collected several boundaries through mid wicket, but it was a pull for four off D’Oliveira which took him to his century from 153 balls, his fourth in the Championship this summer since moving from Hampshire.

Sussex had moved into a lead of 41 after reaching tea on 259-4 from 76 overs.

Leach took the second new ball, and Carter edged Leach for four to reach his half century.

But Pennington accounted for Carter on 55 with a fine delivery which held its line and squared the batter up as it hit the top of off stump.

Leach then picked up his sixth wicket of the game in the next over as Fynn Hudson-Prentice (0) went lbw to a ball which nipped back in at 282-6.

But Alsop continued to be a model of concentration before play was ended at 4.45pm.

Leach ended with 2-61 – and match figures of 30-6-98-6 – Pennington 2-54, Tongue 1-43 and Gibbon 1-51.