Sussex secure safety
Sussex rubber-stamped their Division One status for next season but their 251-run victory at New Road has left Worcestershire facing an uncomfortable final week in this year's LV= County Championship.
Going into their last match against title hopefuls Durham in the north east on Monday, the midlanders will have to be ready to cover any late move by Hampshire in their closing fixture against Warwickshire at the Rose Bowl.
Defeat by Sussex represented a complete turnaround since last September when the two teams were promoted together and Worcestershire snatched second place by chasing 301 on the last day in their meeting at New Road.
This time there was never any danger they would be let into a contest that Sussex dominated from start to finish.
Michael Yardy made sure that the home side were batted out of contention before his overnight declaration at 267 for four – leaving Joe Gatting unbeaten on 116 – set a mountainous target of 421.
Worcestershire, not surprisingly, were unable to launch any kind of challenge and their dismissal for 169, a quarter of an hour before tea, put the seal on a highly-efficient performance by Yardy’s team.
James Anyon was again their quick bowling spearhead, reaching 50 wickets in a season for the first time and, although Monty Panesar was not as effective as in the first innings, he is still in contention to be the top bowler in Division One.
The former England spinner managed a solitary success – an important one when Alexei Kervezee recklessly attempted to cut – and he ended the match on 64 dismissals, now three behind the leader, Worcestershire seamer Alan Richardson.
Off-spinner Chris Nash broke the biggest partnership when Matt Prior, the England wicketkeeper fielding at slip, took a juggling catch after Moeen Ali had made 25 out of 59 with Daryl Mitchell.
This was the last of three wickets to go before lunch, the first two having fallen to the seamers. James Cameron brushed a leg-side catch off Amjad Khan and Vikram Solanki lost his off stump when hitting across a full-length ball from Anyon.
Mitchell played easily the most accomplished innings, timing the ball particularly well off his legs, but he was trapped on the crease, leg-before for 61 when struck on the back pad in Anyon’s post-lunch spell.
Anyon, who took 4-55, swung one in to bowl Aneesh Kapil and Amjad completed a return of three for 43 before Anyon finished the job when Ben Brown’s fourth catch accounted for Richardson.