Sussex v Worcestershire, Hove, 4th day May 27, 2010

Rain forces a draw in Martin-Jenkins' last game

Sussex 328 drew with Worcestershire 464 and 205 for 6 dec.

Sussex and Worcestershire remain Glamorgan's closest challengers at the top of Division Two of the County Championship after their match at Hove fizzled out to a draw. No play was possible before lunch because of rain which meant a total of 65 overs were lost on the final two days. Worcestershire were not prepared to declare and set their second-placed rivals a target with the pitch still playing easily and a temptingly short off-side boundary on offer.

The visitors, who began the final day on 76 for 2, a lead of 212, batted through to finish on 205 for 6. The lead was worth 339 when the players shook hands at 4.50pm. Worcestershire dropped to fourth place as a result of Gloucestershire's win over Derbyshire while Sussex, favourites to go straight back up at the start of the season, are now 16 points adrift of Glamorgan.

At least Sussex stopped the rot after successive championship defeats had enabled Glamorgan to knock them off the summit. In addition, they might have discovered a useful back-up seamer in opening batsman Michael Thornely, who claimed his first two first-class wickets in a seven-over spell either side of tea.

The 22-year-old, who had only previously bowled four overs in first-class cricket, struck with his 15th ball when Moeen Ali drove to short midwicket. Moeen had added 60 in 17 overs with skipper Vikram Solanki after the early loss of nightwatchman Richard Jones, who was superbly caught in his follow through by Corey Collymore.

Solanki was enjoying what had become nothing more than an extended net as he passed 50 for only the third time in 13 Championship innings. But on 61 he pushed forward to Thornely and was surprised to see his off stump knocked out of the ground. He hit five fours and three sixes, all over the short boundary on the scoreboard side, in a 124-ball stay.

The only other wicket to fall came when Alexei Kervezee top-edged a sweep off Monty Panesar and Robin Martin-Jenkins took a comfortable catch at backward point. Martin-Jenkins was playing his last championship game at Hove after announcing that he will retire from the game on July 19 after 15 years with the county to take up a teaching job at Hurstpierpoint College. The veteran, fittingly, led the players off to a standing ovation at the end.