April 29, 2001

Rhodes helps Hick see Worcestershire home

Steve Rhodes became the stage-manager in a supercharged finish to Worcestershire's first win in the Norwich Union League since they headed the First Division table last June.

The bubbly Yorkshireman, now in his 21st season in county cricket, joined a subdued Graeme Hick with the home side struggling at 73 for 5 in reply to Sussex's 154 for 9 on a tricky slow pitch at Kidderminster.

Rhodes immediately changed the tempo with his enthusiastic running and ignited Hick into action as they cleared off the last 82 runs in an unbroken partnership spanning only 13 overs.

Hick accelerated to 61 not out from 86 balls and Rhodes faced only 45 for his unbeaten 39 as Worcestershire cruised home with 4.2 overs to spare in a clash between two of last season's relegated teams.

Sussex had followed an equally erratic course when they batted first in a match switched to Chester Road because of damp conditions at Worcester.

Stuart Lampitt took the first four wickets - including his 200th in the League - before the Holland batsman, Bas Zuiderent, anchored a recovery with 53.

Reaching a half-century in 107 balls, he promptly drove the next delivery back to Andy Bichel to give Worcestershire's new overseas player his first wicket in the competition.

James Kirtley, captaining Sussex in the absence of broken thumb casualty Chris Adams, became a second victim for the Australian, who finished with 2 for 28 after starting with two maidens.

Left arm spinner Matt Rawnsley accounted for Robin Martin-Jenkins and Michael Yardy - both with the assistance of Rhodes - after their partnerships of 55 and 44 with Zuiderent.