County Championship: Sussex beat Worcestershire by an innings at Hove

Ross Whiteley made 53 on his first Championship start since August
Ross Whiteley made 53 on his first Championship start since August but was dropped twice at slip
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, 1st Central County Ground (day four):
Sussex 579-8 dec: Wells 155, Wright 87, Finch 82, Wiese 66, van Zyl 54, Burgess 46
Worcestershire 312 & 260: Mitchell 54, Whiteley 53; Philander 3-30
Sussex (23 pts) beat Worcestershire (4 pts) by an innings and seven runs
Match scorecard

Worcestershire's winning start to the County Championship season came to an end against Sussex at Hove as they were beaten by an innings and seven runs.

After four straight wins, tagged on to the two they ended with last season, a run which started with victory at Hove, Steve Rhodes' side were finally bowled out in mid-afternoon for 260.

Ross Whiteley survived two missed chances at second slip to make 53.

But Sussex proved too strong as South African Vernon Philander took 3-30.

That gave Sussex's overseas signing match figures of 6-102, ahead of his final appearance, starting against Leicestershire at Grace Road on Friday, before the forthcoming Test series with England.

Worcestershire's hopes of saving the game, on a pitch of variable bounce, largely relied on reports of bad weather on the way. But, after resuming on 124-4, needing 267 to make Sussex bat again, the visitors lost just two early wickets in the morning session.

After Ben Cox was beaten by Philander's extra pace and edged to Chris Nash, who took a chest-high catch at second slip, Jofra Archer then bowled nightwatchman Josh Tongue, knocking back his off-stump with a ball which jagged back off the seam.

Whiteley then shared a seventh-wicket stand of 79 with Ed Barnard but that came to an end off the last ball of the first over after lunch.

Barnard was caught behind off Stiaan van Zyl and fellow South African David Wiese got Whiteley the same way. But, with the rain due and Worcestershire just seven runs away from making Sussex bat again, Philander finished things off with the new ball, dismissing visiting captain Joe Leach and then Jack Shantry.

Third-placed Worcestershire, who are at home to Glamorgan, are also back in Championship action this Friday (9 June).

Contrast in selection policies

Only two of Worcestershire's 11 players in this game have not come through the county's own flourishing youth system.

Overseas player Nathan Lyon, who is deputising for fellow Australian John Hastings while the other, Ross Whiteley, who came from Derbyshire in 2013, was only playing because Tom Kohler-Cadmore had been dropped after it was revealed that he is to join Yorkshire next season.

Sussex's overseas player this season is South African Vernon Philander, but they also have two other South Africans on Kolpak deals, Stiaan van Zyl and David Wiese. And they have no plans to replace Philander when he departs later this month for the England-South Africa Test series.

They also have Australian Steve Magoffin, who bowled just nine overs in the match after picking up an injury. He played half a season with Worcestershire in 2008, but now has a residential qualification, having played for Sussex since 2012.

In addition, fast bowler Jofra Archer is from Barbados where the other member of the Sussex attack, England's Indian Premier League all-rounder Chris Jordan was born.

Sussex skipper Chris Nash told BBC Radio Sussex:

"It was an excellent win for us. The bowlers did a fantastic job on the last two days but I'd go back to the first morning when it was quite tough to bat and Harry Finch and Luke Wells did a fantastic job in difficult conditions to set the game up for us.

"Worcestershire are a good side but, when we get it together, we are a match for anyone in this division. It was a really good team performance. We know that if we can get runs on the board we have a bowling attack who are going to make life hard for any side.

"We just need to find that consistency now. We've won two games and if we can win a couple more before the T20 starts we'll be in a good position. There is still a lot of Championship cricket to be played but we're moving in the right direction."

Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes told BBC Hereford & Worcester:

"We left the lads with a lot to do after our decision at the toss to bowl first. Sussex got a big score and the wicket became more difficult to bat on in the last two days, especially against a fiery international-class attack.

"There were some balls that were quite dangerous, which you can get on the last day so we had to take a few bruises but I'm not blaming anyone for that - it is part and parcel of the game.

"Some of the fighting spirit we showed, the openers in the first innings and guys like Ross Whiteley in the second, was great to see. We really fought hard. It was a great effort on the last day."

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