Mitchell century as Worcs break drought
Worcestershire 245 for 9 (Mitchell 107) beat Sussex 154 (Shantry 3-29) by 91 runs
Captain Daryl Mitchell led from the front with his maiden one-day century as Worcestershire began their Yorkshire Bank 40 campaign with an impressive 91-run win over Sussex at Hove. Mitchell made a run-a-ball 107 before departing in the penultimate over and Sussex never threatened to overhaul a target of 246 and were dismissed for 154 in the 32nd over.
On a good pitch and in front of a crowd of 6,500, Sussex, beaten semi-finalists in the last two years, would have fancied their chances but their powerful top order never recovered after the top four, including Matt Prior, were dismissed in the first 11 overs of their reply.
Mitchell's day was complete when he picked up two wickets with his medium pace as Worcestershire, who finished bottom of their group last season, secured their first one-day win on Sussex soil for 13 years.
They made a bad start when Moeen Ali, who signed a five-year contract extension last week, was bowled in the first over trying to reverse-sweep Michael Yardy's left-arm spin. Alexei Kervezee looked good until he was stumped giving left-arm chinaman Michael Rippon the charge but Mitchell led a recovery with Sri Lankan overseas player Thilan Samaraweera, putting on 111 in 20 overs for the third wicket.
Samaraweera looked untroubled for 41 until a mistimed flick went straight to short fine leg in the 27th over and no one was able to provide Mitchell with much support after that.
Chris Jordan pulled off a stunning diving catch at mid-off to remove Neil Pinner and Worcestershire lost four wickets in seven balls after Mitchell reached a chanceless century before he was run out backing up. His 107 came off 106 balls with nine fours.
Jordan belatedly found his rhythm to pick up two wickets in the final over but Sussex's bowling and fielding was well below standard.
In contrast, Worcestershire's fielding was excellent. Luke Wells, in only his seventh List A game for Sussex, spooned a catch to mid-off in the second over of the reply and Chris Nash was held at backward square leg as the Sharks lost both openers for 16.
Mitchell dropped Prior's first ball at slip but it did not prove to be an expensive miss. After Rory Hamilton-Brown was run out by Pinner's throw from midwicket, responding late to his partner's call for a single, Prior was stumped giving Ali the charge.
Yardy held the innings together with 45 but he was run-out when Mitchell deflected Jordan's drive onto the stumps as he backed up too far to complete an excellent day for the Royals' skipper and his side.