June 9, 2001

Davis secures victory for Sussex over Worcestershire


Sussex finally beat Worcestershire by 33 runs shortly after lunch on the fourth day with Alamgir Sheriyar falling lbw to James Kirtley.

After 18 wickets on the first day it looked unlikely that the game would last so long, and unthinkable that it would ultimately be decided by a spell from an off-spinner. But an appreciative crowd were treated to an absorbing contest between two evenly matched sides with the result in doubt right up to the end.

A thrilling game at Horsham took another twist when Vikram Solanki, seemingly leading Worcestershire to victory, fell to the off-spin of Mark Davis for 89, with just over 60 still needed. Solanki was clearly disgusted with himself and fell to his knees in exasperation having driven uppishly to mid wicket. He had been dropped by Montgomerie the previous over, but failed to take advantage of the lifeline.

That left Steve Rhodes to burden the responsibility of shepherding the tail to victory, and though he added 30 for the eighth wicket, the departure of Lampitt (caught at silly point prodding at Davis) having hit the previous ball for six, and Rawnsley (caught of bat and bat in the slips) in quick succession to the South African-born spinner, who finished with career best figures of 6-116, doomed Worcestershire to defeat.

Leatherdale was the first to depart in the morning, caught behind off Kirtley, having added just three to the overnight partnership with Solanki. Kadeer Ali and Andy Bichel soon followed him back to the Pavilion as Sussex sensed victory, but a determined stand of 78 between Solanki and Rhodes renewed Worcestershire's hopes.

Stand-in skipper James Kirtley was delighted with the team's performance, and had reason to be proud of his own performance too, with eight wickets in the match.