India breeze past Sussex
India put their Test woes behind them to launch the one-day segment of their tour with a comfortable six-wicket victory under the Duckworth-Lewis method over Sussex at the PROBIZ County Ground.
Matt Machan's fifty boosted Sussex, who were all out for 236 after being put into bat, with India's left-arm seamer RP Singh taking 4-45 from his nine overs.
Half-centuries from Parthiv Patel, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma enabled the tourists, who included five members of their World Cup-winning side, to chalk up their first win of the tour as they eased to an adjusted target of 235 in 45 overs with 25 deliveries to spare.
Sachin Tendulkar and Parthiv began confidently enough with a stand of 41 in 7.4 overs before left-armer Chris Liddle foxed the former with a slower ball which was driven to mid-off.
Parthiv played attractively for his 55 off 65 balls, including nine fours, before Sussex skipper Chris Nash turned one past him with his first delivery.
Nash and leg-spinner Will Beer occasionally got some sharp turn from a worn pitch but the impressive Kohli and Rohit improved their chances of facing England in a stand of 104 in 17.5 overs.
Kohli hit six fours and a six off Naved Arif in his 71 before driving to mid-on, but India needed just 27 to win when he departed and Rohit eased to an unbeaten 61 from 65 balls with eight fours and a six.
Sussex had earlier threatened to post a more imposing total after useful middle-order contributions from Joe Gatting, Machan and Ben Brown.
But they subsided dramatically after Brown, on 48, mis-timed a slog at Munaf Patel in the 43rd over, losing their last five wickets for 18 runs in 19 balls.
The start was delayed for 30 minutes because of rain and there were two brief stoppages but, as conditions improved, the Sussex batsmen built momentum as India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni used seven bowlers.
Luke Wells was caught behind aiming a loose drive at Praveen Kumar two balls after the first break and a promising start by Lou Vincent, who swatted Munaf over midwicket for six, was halted when he aimed a flat-footed waft at Singh.
The left-armer struck again when Nash picked out point, but Gatting and Machan took on the attack when Dhoni turned to his spinners.
They added 47 before Gatting was bowled trying to slog sweep Ravichandran Ashwin on 46, but 20-year-old Machin, who was playing only his second one-day game for the county and first for 14 months, continued to impress as 65 was added for the fifth wicket with Brown.
His 56 from 62 balls included five boundaries before he chipped a return catch to Suresh Raina.
Brown and Kirk Werners both fell trying to force the pace and Sussex’s tail folded meekly with Praveen, feeling his way back to fitness after an ankle injury forced him to miss the fourth npower Test, bowling well en route to figures of 1-28.