Youngsters earn plaudits
Mark Robinson and Martyn Moxon have praised the character of their sides as Sussex and Yorkshire avoided the dreaded drop into Division Two of the LV County Championship.
After Sussex batted out the whole of the fourth day at Hove to end on 397 for nine, both coaches could be pleased with the way the teams went about what was a crucial game in the final round of championship matches.
Four points separated them at the start of the match, and with Yorkshire gaining full bonus points and Sussex managing the four they needed to send Kent down, the season was ended satisfactorily.
"We have been tested in many different ways, but we are one of four teams who have won a trophy," said Sussex boss Robinson, of their NatWest Pro40 victory.
"It has been quite frustrating because for the second half of the year we had teams on the rack, but the weather intervened.
"I'd like to pay tribute to this competition, more than anything. For three consecutive years Sussex have gone into the last day of the championship not knowing their fate - twice winning it and and then not knowing if we survived.
"It is hard taking the plaudits for saving relegation and not actually winning the game, but we will take it and be ready to relaunch next year.
"It is testament to the boys that we came through."
One of the reasons for Sussex's escape was a first-innings hundred by Chris Nash, who was awarded his county cap at tea time.
"We saw Chris Nash score a hundred under high pressure," Robinson added. "Some players have struggled and some have learned from it.
"We've had Ollie Rayner who had a difficult first half and since then he has been bossing it.
"We've been preparing wickets that suited him and there is no higher compliment than that.
"I'm really proud of how we played in that second half of the season. We have won a trophy and we can't forget that."
Yorkshire director of cricket Moxon was also effusive in his praise of his younger players, who ensured the team would not be playing in the second tier next season.
"Obviously on Wednesday night it was pretty bleak," he said. "But I've no praise high enough for the lads.
"It started with (Tim) Bresnan and (Adil) Rashid with the bat as we got a bit of momentum. And then the Rashid and (David) Wainwright partnership was just out of this world, given the pressure we were under.
"To play like that was just an unbelievable achievement. With the pressure David was under, it was an outstanding performance.
"To bat like he did and then to take those three wickets for nine runs when we really needed them is fantastic.
"It shows the character of the lad after not playing much first-team cricket this year, to come in and perform like that - no praise is high enough.
"And then Matthew Hoggard as well, to get us up to 400 after being 84 for six, was just dreamland."
Having batted their way out of immediate trouble, Yorkshire needed the three bowling bonus points to ensure their safety and they duly delivered.
"We followed that up with some disciplined bowling in Sussex's first innings and we knew we needed those three bonus bowling points with the ball," Moxon confirmed.
"The intensity of our cricket in the field was again worthy of credit and we ended up getting the points that we needed.
"We are obviously pleased that we survived. The players delivered and I am absolutely delighted with their attitude and the performance they have put in.
"Hopefully that will stand us in good stead for the future."