Joyce crowns Martin-Jenkins farewell
Ed Joyce cracked an excellent century as Sussex ensured Robin Martin-Jenkins a winning finale to his illustrious career with a crushing 159-run win over Worcestershire at Hove.
Martin-Jenkins, in his final game before he takes up a teaching job after 16 seasons and 459 matches, took Sussex past 300 with two sixes, before bowling eight wicketless overs as the Royals stuttered in reply.
But it was Joyce’s 117 and a swashbuckling 95 from Luke Wright which propelled the Sharks to 313 for six - a score which proved way too much for Worcestershire.
Sussex’s fourth win moved them to within a point of second-placed Surrey Lions, although they have played a match more.
Joyce looked in good touch from the start against an under-strength Worcestershire side who gave one-day debuts to England under-19 batsman Jack Manuel, wicketkeeper Ben Cox and slow left-armer Shaaiq Choudhry.
The Irishman, in partnership with Chris Nash, gave Sussex an ideal platform with 76 in 12 overs, before adding 119 in 16.4 overs with Wright.
He timed the ball superbly throughout and reached his fourth one-day hundred for Sussex by slog-sweeping Choudhry for six.
His innings was eventually brought to an end, though, as he top-edged James Cameron to short fine-leg having hit 16 of his 91 balls for four.
Wright then took up the attack after reaching his half-century from a relatively sedate 53 balls with just three fours.
When Sussex called their second four-over powerplay in the 31st over, he hit six more fours and a straight six off Jack Shantry only to sky the same bowler’s slower ball to long-off with a second career one-day hundred in sight.
James Kirtley took two wickets with successive balls in his third over including Royals’ skipper Vikram Solanki, who lost his off stump in spectacular fashion shouldering arms after Manuel had mis-timed a drive to extra cover.
Kirtley also removed Alex Kervezee while Daryl Mitchell and Moeen Ali were run out by direct hits from Joe Gatting and wicketkeeper Ben Brown respectively.
Monty Panesar bowled superbly to pick up two wickets with his left-arm spin, conceding just 11 runs in eight overs.
Choudhry hit out breezily at the end to top-score with 39, including seven fours, but the outcome had long since been decided as Worcestershire fell to their sixth defeat in Group A.