Sussex celebrate as Ben Brown takes off the bails to seal victory against Northants
Steve Magoffin finished with match figures of eight for 40 as Sussex wrapped up an innings win over Northamptonshire with five sessions to spare in the LV County Championship at Hove.
The Australian seamer picked up three more wickets today as Sussex condemned their opponents to an eighth defeat in ten First Division games by an innings and 85 runs.
The lunch break was delayed when Northants lost their ninth wicket and Ashar Zaidi sealed Sussex’s first win since April when he had last man David Willey stumped for seven, leaving Steven Crook unbeaten on 52 in a total of 204. Victory moves Sussex up to fifth place in the table.
Crook apart, Northants offered little resistance as Magoffin finished with three for 28 to add to his five wickets in the first innings.
Lewis Hatchett made the breakthrough after Northants had resumed on 80 for three when night watchman Oli Stone fended a rising delivery from the left-hander to third slip. Matthew Spriegel was leg before to Magoffin offering no shot and there was little Kyle Coetzer could do when Magoffin got a ball to rear up off a length which Coetzer edged through to wicketkeeper Ben Brown. Rob Newton was then caught behind off Magoffin and Northants were 101 for seven and sinking fast.
Ben Duckett and Andrew Hall provided some resistance, taking the score to 129 before Matt Hobden replaced Magoffin and had Hall smartly taken to his left at second slip by James Tredwell. Crook showed his intentions from the start, hitting his first two balls to the boundary while Duckett had a reprieve on 23 when Brown missed a difficult stumping chance off off-spinner Tredwell.
The ninth-wicket pair added 61 before Sussex skipper Ed Joyce turned to Zaidi’s left-arm spin and he obliged by having Duckett well caught at short leg by Chris Nash as he prodded forward.
The fall of the ninth wicket meant lunch was delayed but after some defiant blows by Crook took him to 52 from 48 balls, with eight fours and a six off Zaidi, Northamptonshire were beaten when Willey over-balanced and was smartly stumped by Brown to give Zaidi his second wicket.Crook’s runs were the only half-century by a Northamptonshire player in either innings and on this evidence it is hard to see them avoiding an immediate return to the Second Division after just one season in the top flight.
Sussex will have been delighted to have ended a run of eight Championship games without a win and to have dragged themselves out of the relegation places.
WATCH: Steve Magoffin enjoyed a fantastic match for Sussex and to hear his reflection on the win, follow the link to the Sussex TV YouTube Channel above, as he spoke to BBC Sussex after the match