Worcestershire are celebrating their first victory of the season in the LV=Insurance County Championship after overcoming Sussex by an innings and 34 runs with a day to spare at New Road.
They had been denied victory by Leicestershire’s last-wicket pair in their opening game when more than a day’s play was lost to rain but overwhelmed Sussex in impressive fashion.
Worcestershire picked up 15 wickets on the third day, which were shared amongst their six bowlers and dominated most of the game.
There were some outstanding performances, and Club Captain, Brett D’Oliveira, will head into next week’s match with Nottinghamshire with 294 runs without being dismissed under his belt so far this summer.
Worcestershire also have a talismanic leader of their attack in Joe Leach, who already has ten wickets to his name this season.
He was excellently supported by Dillon Pennington, who twice dismissed key batsman Cheteshwar Pujara today, Charlie Morris, Ed Barnard and emerging spinner Josh Baker.
Worcestershire collected 23 points from the game – 16 for a win, four for batting and three for bowling.
Sussex resumed on 169-5 and were given a testing time for the opening pair of Leach and Morris.
Pujara reached a fine century when he pulled Leach for four, and it was completed off 184 balls with 14 boundaries.
But the introduction of Pennington into the attack brought about a double breakthrough for Worcestershire.
The former England Under-19 bowler shattered the stumps of Delray Rawlins (10) with a full-length delivery.
He then picked up the prized wicket of Pujara (109), who edged a fine ball which nipped away, and Ed Pollock caught him at first slip.
Top-order batter, Tom Alsop, came into bat at number seven after a severely bruised finger had prevented him from batting in the top three.
He struck spinner Josh Baker for six over, but the home side continued to probe away.
Barnard replaced Pennington after a morning spell of 5-1-14-2, and he found the edge of Grant Stewart’s bat on 18 with Pollock holding onto another chance.
Alsop (28) had been run out in Sussex’s previous match against Derbyshire, and he suffered the same fate thanks to sharp work by Pennington.
He played a delivery from Barnard to wide mid-on, set off for a risky single and failed to beat Pennington’s direct hit at the non-striker’s end.
Morris wrapped up the innings when trapping Grant Burrows (0) lbw on the stroke of lunch.
Leach finished with figures of 17-5-60-4, Morris 17.5-8-35-2, Pennington 14-2-43-2, Baker 15-3-48-0 and Barnard 18-3-66-1.
D’Oliveira enforced the follow on, and the decision soon brought dividends thanks to two wickets in two balls for Leach for the second time in the game.
Tom Haines (10) nicked a fine delivery, and keeper Ben Cox was alert to the situation and pouched a sharp catch in front of first slip.
The Leach-Cox combination then struck again to the next very delivery after Alsop pushed forward and found the outside edge.
Worcestershire were then cock-a-hoop when Pennington dismissed Pujara (12) for the second time in the day after replacing Leach (6-3-15-2).
The pace bowler wheeled away in delight after knocking out Pujara’s off stump at 43-3.
Tom Clark (8) tried to slog sweep Baker and inside-edged a catch to Cox, and Mohammed Rizwan (4) went lbw to Barnard.
Rawlins (19) then failed to beat Barnard’s throw to Baker at the non-striker’s end after he tried to regain his ground after Ali Orr steered a delivery to backward point.
Ali Orr provided some stubborn resistance in making 33 off 138 balls, but he was undone by a Baker delivery which bounced on him, and Haynes grabbed the chance at short leg.
It became 132-8 when D’Oliveira held onto a good catch running back to long-off to dismiss Henry Crocombe (8) to give Baker a third wicket.
The Club Captain came into the attack for the first time and had Jamie Atkins (17) caught at mid-on and then trapped George Burrows (2) lbw to wrap up an emphatic win.