Masterful Magoffin sinks Lancashire

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Steve Magoffin

Steve Magoffin tormented defending champions Lancashire on his Sussex debut. The Australian seamer finished with match figures of 9-55

Steve Magoffin rounded off a sensational debut with second-innings figures of 7-34 as Sussex thumped reigning LV= County Champions Lancashire by 10 wickets at Aigburth.

The Australian seamer, signed as Sussex’s overseas player for an initial two-month spell, was chiefly responsible for restricting the Red Rose to 176 all out in their second innings, leaving the visitors with a victory target of one.

Maintaining a disciplined line and extracting more life from the pitch than any other bowler in this match, Magoffin was hugely impressive throughout and claimed four wickets today after Lancashire had resumed 91 behind on 85 for four.

Ashwell Prince and Luke Procter frustrated Sussex for much of the morning as they extended their fifth-wicket stand, worth 36 overnight, to 88, but things soon went awry for the hosts once the latter had fallen for 46.

The last six wickets fell for just 39 runs, England spinner Monty Panesar finishing with 3-54 while Magoffin completed a stunning match return of 9-55 from 35.5 overs. Sussex took 22 points to Lancashire's three.

Beaten in their opening championship game for the first time in 14 years, Lancashire, dismissed for 124 after losing the toss on day one, will be aware that significant improvement is required if they are to mount a strong defence of their title.

Sussex, however, can reflect on a polished performance that earned a richly-deserved first win of the campaign following their defeat at the hands of Surrey last week.

Procter appeared a little uncertain outside off stump early on today, but soon grew in confidence and collected back-to-back fours, down the ground and through midwicket, following Panesar’s introduction at the River End.

With the score on 119, Sussex spurned an excellent opportunity to oust Prince. The left-hander top-edged a pull off James Anyon, but Magoffin was unable to accept a steepling chance at fine-leg.

Anyon was then taken for consecutive cover-driven boundaries by Procter, who also chipped Panesar over mid-on for his eighth four before overtaking his senior partner.

The all-rounder was unable to reach a half-century, however, and departed when, in seeking to attack Panesar again, he spooned a thick outside edge to Luke Wells at point.

Magoffin had new batsman Gareth Cross dropped by Ed Joyce at second slip, but claimed the key wicket in his next set of six.

Prince, who had clubbed Panesar over long-on for a maximum in the previous over, was caught behind for 58, having failed to defend one that nipped away off the seam.

When Chapple edged another probing delivery to Michael Yardy at first slip, Magoffin was able to celebrate a five-wicket haul on debut.

Sajid Mahmood was also caught by Yardy six balls later, Panesar claiming his third scalp, and Lancashire took lunch on 165 for eight, still trailing by 11.

Light rain delayed the start of the afternoon session, but Sussex wasted little time thereafter, Magoffin bowling Kyle Hogg before having last man Simon Kerrigan caught behind.

All that remained was for Joyce to knock off the winning run from the third ball of Sussex’s second innings, bowled by Kerrigan, with the returning showers proving immaterial.

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