Sussex v Somerset, Horsham, 1st day May 22, 2013

Magoffin leaves Somerset to nurse headache

ESPNcricinfo staff

Sussex 298 for 9 (Hamilton-Brown 77, Thomas 4-67) lead Somerset 76 (Magoffin 8-20) by 222 runs

Somerset were left nursing a major headache after another batting collapse saw them staring at a third defeat of the season after just the first day at Horsham. Having dominated champions Warwickshire at Taunton at the end of April, they now resemble relegation candidates rather than title challengers.

Director of cricket Dave Nosworthy admitted Somerset have an issue after his side were routed for just 76 by Steve Magoffin's career-best 8 for 20. They lasted only 23.4 overs as Magoffin ran through them, including a blast of five wickets in 13 balls.

"There are no excuses we didn't get it right," Nosworthy told "We won the toss and chose to bat but it didn't work for us.

"I think the lads are all very disappointed, you train as hard as you do and try your best but at the end of the day you have got to be responsible for your own innings and get out there and perform, which nobody has managed to do for us today."

Nor have many managed to perform at all this season. A poor show with the bat in the opening match at Durham seemed to be an aberration for Somerset as they found form at The Oval and then racked up over 400 against a much-vaunted Warwickshire attack. But a slip at Headingley, where a draw was declared with Somerset 61 for 6 in their second innings, became a harsh reality after a thumping defeat at home to Middlesex.

Their batting order is ageing, inexperienced or out of form. They have been reliant on 37-year-old Marcus Trescothick and overseas player Alviro Petersen. Here, Petersen failed and Trescothick's 20 was one of only three double-figure scores.

Somerset can also not turn to their bowling attack for much comfort. The first three into the attack here, Peter Trego, Steve Kirby and Alfonso Thomas, have a combined age of 102. Together with Jamie Overton and Jack Leach - two youngsters whose development is essential for the club - they shipped 298 runs at over four an over to close day one 222 behind.

They had envisaged progress at a similar rate themselves with the bat but had no answer for Magoffin who bowled 11 overs unchanged to produce the best performance by a Sussex bowler since Mushtaq Ahmed took 9 for 48 when the county clinched the Championship title against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge in 2006.

He started by bowling Arul Suppiah through the gate - Suppiah's sixth single figure score in eight innings this season - then a touch of inswing proved too much for Petersen. But the real damage was done after James Hildreth was caught low down at slip in the 12th over.

From 42 for 3, Somerset subsided to 43 for 7, with Magoffin taking three wickets in four balls in the 14th over. Trescothick was caught behind playing away from his body before Trego and Thomas fell in successive deliveries.

Somerset's last three wickets put on 33 to avoid total ignominy but there was no stopping Magoffin. After Jack Leach was caught behind, Magoffin bowled top scorer Jos Buttler for 22 to pick up his eighth wicket and record the best bowling performance at Horsham since Northamptonshire's Vince Broderick took 9 for 35 in 1948.

Chris Jordan took the other two wickets and Sussex openers Chris Nash and Luke Wells were soon putting conditions into perspective with a stand of 83.

Thomas dragged Somerset back into contention when Nash, captaining Sussex on his home ground in the absence of Ed Joyce, played on before Joe Gatting edged his second ball to second slip.

A typically fiery burst from Kirby was rewarded with the wicket of Wells while Mike Yardy, who hit three successive balls from Kirby to the boundary, squandered a good start when he was bowled by Peter Trego at the start of a new spell.

But Sussex regained control in a fifth wicket stand of 85 between Rory Hamilton-Brown and Matt Machan before the latter was run out by Leach's direct hit from midwicket.

Somerset fought back after tea by taking five wickets, including Hamilton-Brown - whose 77 included 11 fours and two sixes and was his highest score since returning to the county before he became one of four victims for Thomas.

Despite the clatter of wickets, ECB pitch inspector David Capel said he was perfectly happy with the surface.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andrew on May 24, 2013, 1:08 GMT

    @Aussiesfalling on (May 23, 2013, 7:23 GMT) - Starc struggled last year? He was the reason why Yorkshire was competitive, dominated the limited overs & was brilliant in the County matches.

  • John on May 23, 2013, 11:10 GMT

    Terrible day for Somerset - could not have been worse. @Cricketing Stargazer - well done for being the only commenter to comment on the match itself. You'd have thought there weren't enough international threads on Cricinfo where people can say our team's better than yours...?

  • Martin on May 23, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    Agree with Guernica - comparing Magoffin/Copeland on early season English pitches to their achievements in Oz is not a useful comparison. And it's quite ridiculous to state that county cricket never has been and never will be as strong as shield - better judges than me (or anyone else commenting on here) such as Justin Langer have certainly said that it is. Standards in the county game are raised by good overseas pros and ex-international Kolpakkers, whereas the shield seems only to have domestic players. I guess we'll see plenty of evidence of which system is stronger over the next 8 months or so!

  • Duncan on May 23, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    @Mitty2 - there are English journeymen such as Masters and Richardson who are doing just as well as Copeland/Magoffin. These guys will never play for England but they have that similar blend of experience and nagging accuracy that seems to do very well in the early county season. I wouldn't expect any of those players to do particularly well on Australian pitches - you need more pace there. There are only 6 teams in the shield so of course it's going to be harder for players to get a game.

  • Matt on May 23, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    I think to be fair Mitty, I don't think anyone, not even I as a proud Englishman, would ever believe that County cricket is anywhere near as strong as Shield cricket which is halfway between CC and Test level. However, and here's where there is a point, I suspect that, just supposing, all Shield cricket were played in England in English conditions, I suspect that Magoffin could well not only play but might be one of the most successful bowlers in the competition. I'm a Sussex supporter and Magoffin is ideally suited to the pitches and conditions, but If we get a hot dry summer here (as if!!) then I suspect that he may struggle a bit more.

  • Graem on May 23, 2013, 7:23 GMT

    Mitty2 may be [deliberatly] missing the point that the county system allows talent to develop better than the shield. Some players develop later on in their careers at a time when the aussies system has already squeezed them out. Last night I saw an exceptional innings from Michael Carbery who is another late bloomer. As for some of the young aussie talent dominating the county game, Mitty2 should take a look at how Starc and Kawaja struggled in Division 2 last summer.

  • Hamish on May 23, 2013, 6:34 GMT

    @gandery, meety's comment was a reference to all the players with England experience, not the actual XI. But yes, bird and patto are the in the best two quicks in the country and should be ine team.

    Also very funny to see some english suggest what has never been and never will be: the county being stronger than the shield. Two state journeymen who can't settle into any bowling line up (let alone be picked) in the shield, are dominating the county. Magoffin wouldn't even dream of taking three wickets in a shield innings... 8/20... Hah! Can only imagine the carnage if bird/McDermott/cutting/NCN signed for a county.

  • Shaun on May 23, 2013, 2:34 GMT

    Magoffin and Copeland should stay in England I think. Hogan has been good also but Magoffin and Copeland have been stand outs. Copeland has been getting some big runs as well so I have him slightly ahead of Magoffin. Interesting to see if they both do stay on standby. Both have had terrific performances in England. I think Copeland plays his last game first week on June....Meety I dont agree with your side to be honest. I think Pattinson and Bird deserve to be in the Aussie side. Johnson is finished im afraid. I also think Lyon and Fawad Ahmad - leg spin option will do well. Hauritz wont get back now. Robson also may play for England. We dont know yet....Our batting is a worry hence why I picked Copeland because his batting down the order will be very helpful and he can bowl a lot of overs if needed in long 10 match series. I would also pick Starc well before Johnson! Johnson is sooo wayward its not funny.

  • Andrew on May 23, 2013, 0:39 GMT

    Ooops - I think I wrote Murtagh instead of Magoffin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Andrew on May 23, 2013, 0:38 GMT

    Playing Sliding Doors here, the Oz team for the Ashes tour should be 1. Robson, 2. Rogers, 3. Katich, 4. North, 5. Clarke (c), 6. Hain, 7. Johnson (w/k), 8. Copeland, 9. Murtagh, 10. Hogan, 11. Hauritz. (Threw in Hauritz 'cos I couldn't think of any other Ozzy spinner with "recent" FC experience in England).

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