Oliver, Kervezee give Worcs edge
Sussex 345 and 8 for 0 trail Worcestershire 389 (Oliver 101, Kervezee 93, Andrew 70) by 36 runs
Richard Oliver's second first-class hundred and aggressive half-centuries from Alexei Kervezee and Gareth Andrew led an impressive Worcestershire response on the second day against Sussex at Hove. Replying to Sussex's 345, the visitors were bowled out for 389 and the hosts reached eight for no wickets in three overs before stumps, still trailing by 36 runs.
There were periods in the day when Sussex looked to be taking control. Matt Hobden took two early wickets and Steve Magoffin struck twice in an excellent spell after lunch. Luke Wells then took two wickets, including Oliver for 101, in four balls. But each time they were pegged back Worcestershire mustered an impressive response.
Opener Oliver added 77 with Alex Gidman for the third wicket and Kervezee and Andrew (70) later put on 88 for the seventh after Wells' double strike had left them 227 for 6. Kervezee fell seven short of a deserved century when he was taken at first slip by Ed Joyce but Craig Cachopa dropped three catches alongside him, including Oliver on 58 and Kervezee on 72.
Oliver, who recorded 13 fours in his total from 212 balls, also had a let-off on 59 when a ball from left-arm spinner Ashar Zaidi rolled on to the stumps but failed to dislodge a bail.
The 25-year-old left-hander, who spent eight years in club cricket before winning his first pro contract at New Road last season, rode his luck during some hostile spells from Hobden and Tymal Mills, who hit him on the helmet when he ducked into a bouncer and needed treatment.
Hobden had struck two early blows, uprooting Daryl Mitchell's off stump and finding a faint edge to remove Tom Fell, but Oliver and Gidman took Worcestershire to lunch without further loss - Gidman striking Ajmal Shahzad for three boundaries in an over during an innings of growing authority. Sussex turned to the experienced Magoffin after lunch and he nipped one back to trap Gidman and had Tom Kohler-Cadmore taken cheaply at slip.
Oliver batted just over four hours for his hundred but added just a single before he drove loosely to short extra cover. Ben Cox was lbw sweeping across the line in the same Wells' over but Kervezee wrested the initiative back for his side, hitting with real fluency and power, particularly through the off side.
He, too, was hit on the helmet by Hobden on 89 and added just four more before edging to second slip four balls into a new spell by Shahzad. Magoffin bagged Jack Shantry for his third wicket but Andrew and Sachithra Senanayake took full toll of a tiring attack in the last hour, adding 57 in 11 overs before Andrew lost his off stump to Hobden and Zaidi wrapped up the innings when Senanayake slogged across the line.
Sussex, already without five players because of injury, lost Mills late in the day when he went off after bowling just one ball of his spell, having been sidelined earlier in the day with suspected ankle trouble.