Magoffin debut stuns Lancashire
Sussex 300 (Yardy 110) and 4 for 0 beat Lancashire 124 (Anyon 5-36) and 176 (Magoffin 7-34) by 10 wickets
Steve Magoffin, the tall fast bowler who last month played a crucial all-round role in Queensland's Sheffield Shield Final win over Tasmania at the Gabba, made an instant impact for Sussex with a debut seven-for to seal a notable ten-wicket win over the defending champions, Lancashire, inside three days.
Here, in chilly Liverpool conditions far removed from the heat of Brisbane, Magoffin bounded up the hill from the Pavilion End to add the wickets of Ashwell Prince, Glen Chapple, Kyle Hogg and Simon Kerrigan to the three he took during Thursday's evening session, so clinching 22 points for his new county.
"That's pretty much the coldest I have ever played in," said Magoffin, whose match figures of 9 for 55 were the second best of his career. "It was 40 degrees and humid the last time I played at the Gabba. It's not so much when you're bowling as when you aren't that the temperature is a problem."
Magoffin's Shield final was no easy ride either. He suffered back spasms on the opening day and the following morning had to make an emergency call to Martin Love, the Queensland physiotherapist and former Test batsman, to help him get out of bed. He returned to take one second innings wicket and then score an unbeaten 26 as they just about crept over the line in a nervy pursuit of 133.
"I had various tablets to get myself out there," he said at the time. "I probably sounded like a Tic-Tac packet running in there."
Lancashire, 85 for four at the start of the third day, still trailing by 91 runs, began positively thanks to Prince and Luke Procter, their young all-rounder whose style of play was not so long ago described as a cross between Neil Fairbrother and Darren Lehmann by the club's assistant coach, Gary Yates. Procter drove and pulled Monty Panesar's left-arm spin for successive boundaries during the day's ninth over, but fell to the England spinner when he skewed a lofted on-drive to Luke Wells at point.
Magoffin bowled the majority of his overs from the River End during the match but switched ends before lunch with great effect, getting Prince caught behind for 58 and Chapple caught at first slip by Michael Yardy, whose first-innings hundred had put Sussex in such a dominant position.
Rain delayed the start of the afternoon session by 25 minutes, though it was only a brief stay of execution for the hosts because Magoffin bowled Hogg and had Kerrigan caught behind to make the perfect start to his third spell in English cricket following brief stays at Surrey and Worcestershire, where his wife, Becky, worked in the club's offices.
"I didn't learn I was coming here until late March when I got the call to say that the qualification scenario had changed with my wife being British and that they could get me in to play here on a spouse visa as an overseas player," he said. "I haven't played here in four years, and I've been restricted because of not playing international cricket. I'm here for a few months and looking forward to contributing. Mark Robinson [Sussex's coach] has got me over to do that role, to bowl maidens and build pressure."
Lancashire's fate was sealed when Ed Joyce swept the solitary run required off the third ball of the Sussex chase, leaving them with a lot to ponder ahead of Thursday's meeting with Warwickshire on this ground. Chapple, their captain, said: "We got into the game on the second day and played some decent stuff, but it was a little bit 'too little, too late'. It was a poor toss to lose but they definitely outplayed us."