Robin Martin-Jenkins bows out with a victory
Sussex 313 for 6 beat Worcestershire 154 by 159 runs
Ed Joyce made his first hundred in one-day league cricket as Sussex Sharks improved their chances of defending their Clydesdale Bank 40 title with a crushing 159-run win over Worcestershire Royals at Hove.
The Irish left-hander's 117 and a swashbuckling 95 from Luke Wright propelled the Sharks to 313 for 6 and it was way too much for the Royals who were dismissed for 154 and have now lost all six games in Group A.
Sussex's fourth win moved them to within a point of second placed Surrey Lions, although they have played a match more.
Joyce looked in good touch from the start against an under-strength Worcestershire side who gave one-day debuts to England under-19 batsman Jack Manuel, wicketkeeper Ben Cox and slow left-armer Shaaiq Choudhry.
He helped give Sussex an ideal platform with 76 in 12 overs with Chris Nash before adding 119 in 16.4 overs with Wright. Joyce timed the ball superbly throughout and reached his fourth one-day hundred for Sussex by slog-sweeping Choudhry for six.
His innings ended disappointingly when he top-edged to short fine leg but it was a classy effort nonetheless containing 16 fours off 91 balls. Wright then took up the attack after reaching his half-century from a relatively sedate 53 balls with just three fours.
When Sussex called their second four-over powerplay in the 31st over he hit six more boundaries and a straight six off Jack Shantry to move to 95 only to sky Shantry's slower ball to long off when only the second one-day hundred of his career was in sight.
Robin Martin-Jenkins, in his final game before he retires to take up a teaching job after 16 seasons and 459 matches, took Sussex past 300 with two sixes and he then bowled eight wicketless overs as the Royals lost wickets regularly in an increasingly forlorn run chase.
James Kirtley took two wickets with successive balls in his third over including Royals' skipper Vikram Solanki who lost his off stump in spectacular fashion shouldering arms after Manuel had mis-timed a drive to extra cover. Kirtley also removed Alex Kervezee while Daryl Mitchell and Moeen Ali were run out by direct hits from Joe Gatting and wicketkeeper Ben Brown respectively.
Monty Panesar bowled superbly to pick up two wickets with his left-arm spin, conceding just 11 runs in his eight overs. Choudhry hit out breezily at the end to top score with 39 including seven fours but the outcome had long since been decided.