Bowlers keep Worcestershire's promotion hopes alive
Sussex 191 for 7 v Worcestershire
Worcestershire nibbled into Glamorgan's nine-point advantage in the battle of the last promotion spot in the County Championship by restricting Sussex to 191 for 7 at New Road.
While their Welsh rivals struggled, batting first against Derbyshire at Cardiff, Worcestershire reduced the gap with two bowling points after being held up by a Sussex teenager following his father into the county team.
Luke Wells, son of former captain Alan, made a capable 62 in a little more than three hours on his first-class debut before Sussex, already promoted as Division Two champions, lurched into trouble on a murky afternoon.
Having looked comfortable at 131 for 2 until Murray Goodwin fell for 34 in a damaging second spell by Alan Richardson, they lost five wickets - including Wells - while adding 17 runs in 12.2 overs. The 35-year-old Richardson, now with his fourth county, came into the match with 50 Championship wickets this season and added to his tally with 3 for 34 from 22 testing overs.
Worcestershire's momentum eventually ran down as Andrew Hodd made an unbeaten 31, putting on an undefeated 43 with young spin bowler Will Beer, who reached 22 not out in his second Championship appearance. Bad light then ended play at 5pm.
Wells, a 6ft 4in left hander who has played for England at Under-19 level, was positive at the start of his innings. A clip for three off Matt Mason's first ball would have eased any nerves but it was not good for his partner when Chris Nash was lbw to the next delivery.
Wells gathered confidence with three consecutive boundaries off Mason, but Gareth Andrew checked Sussex's early gallop in a fine spell which deserved more than the leg before wicket dismissal of Ben Brown for 32. The second wicket produced 74 and this was followed by a stand of 54 before Goodwin attempted to cut the third ball of Richardson's after-lunch spell and gave a catch to Vikram Solanki at first slip.
Mason was unusually expensive in the morning but repaired his figures in a much stronger second spell in which Luke Wright edged to second slip. With the England one-day all-rounder out for a fourth-ball duck, Sussex suffered a another blow when Wells, having slowed noticeably after reaching 50 with nine fours, drove hard at Richardson and sliced a catch to gully.
Sussex are without four of their leading players and their middle order struggled against seam movement. Yasir Arafat was quickly lbw to medium pacer James Cameron and James Anyon became another victim for Richardson with a nick to second slip.