Draw saves county heavyweights

Lv County Championship
Murray Goodwin

Murray Goodwin brought up his sixth ton off 146 balls

Sussex and Yorkshire each escaped relegation after securing a draw in their LV County Championship Division One match at Hove as Murray Goodwin scored his sixth first-class hundred of the year.

The hosts ended on 397 for nine, a lead of 204, when stumps were called an hour before the scheduled close of play, with the likelihood of a positive result having diminished.

Heading into the game on Wednesday, fears of the drop were prevalent for both sides on the south-coast, but a culmination of bonus points saw them saved after Kent lost to Durham earlier today.

Goodwin and Michael Yardy had started the fourth day on 60 and 15 respectively as Sussex resumed on 118 for two.

It took 12.3 overs for Yorkshire to make the first breakthrough of the morning, captain-elect Yardy turning Adil Rashid to short-leg for Andrew Gale to take the catch with his score on 72.

That brought Matt Prior to the crease, but his stay was short as he sliced Rashid in the air to Lyth at point for seven.

At the other end, Goodwin was accumulating runs steadily, bringing up his half-century off 89 balls, with seven fours.

Chris Adams arrived at the crease to a standing ovation from the Hove crowd and he proceeded to take the attack to Yorkshire's bowlers, hitting Matthew Hoggard for two straight drives down the ground for four.

His innings of 35 also contained three sixes as he pulled Rashid through square, hit David Wainwright down the ground and smashed Rashid through wide mid-on.

However, his propensity to play big shots proved his downfall when he tried another to Rashid, but did not get hold of it properly and saw it fall into the hands of Steve Patterson running in at mid-off.

Adil Rashid

Adil Rashid twirled away for overall match figures of 9-177

Adams left the field to another rousing ovation, waving his bat and cap to the assembled throng, with talk of his retirement gathering extra momentum.

The Sussex captain has not scored a century all season and may now have chosen to bow out at the end of this game, after already signalling his intentions to step down as skipper.

Luke Wright joined Goodwin in the middle as they aimed to see out the lunch break, but Rashid struck for his fourth wicket of the day when he trapped the former lbw for nine on the stroke of the interval.

It was 282 for six when Goodwin brought up his hundred, sweeping Jacques Rudolph for a single.

The new ball was taken shortly afterwards, with Rashid continuing to bowl at the Sea End, from where he had run in for 30 overs unchanged.

His first delivery with the new ball was swept for four by Goodwin, but he got his revenge by taking the centurion's wicket six balls later.

Rudolph brilliantly plucked the ball out of the air one-handed at slip as the batsman attempted to sweep, but only got the back of his bat to it.

Wainwright replaced Rashid and continued his excellent match when he had Ollie Rayner caught by wicketkeeper Gerard Brophy for 22 in the penultimate over before tea.

Despite some attacking field placings from Yorkshire captain Anthony McGrath after the break, they were unable to wrap up the innings quickly to give themselves a chance of winning the game with a small run-chase.

Robin Martin-Jenkins brought up his half-century with a boundary – his sixth – as the game meandered in what had, by then, become a meaningless contest.

Rashid returned to bowl from the Cromwell Road End and took five balls to get his man, trapping Martin-Jenkins lbw for 56 to finish with figures of 7-136.

Soon after, McGrath shook hands with Mohammad Sami and Jason Lewry, ending the match.

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