Lancashire got their LV County Championship campaign off to a flying start with an impressive eight-wicket victory over Sussex at Hove
and it was James Anderson they had to thank for breaking the game’s back on day four.
The England bowler stormed to first-class career best match figures off 11-109 from 51 overs, thanks to five second innings wickets – four of them yesterday – to help bowl Sussex out for 167.
South African duo Ashwell Prince and Francois du Plessis then helped Lancashire chase down 158 for their second win here in three years with an unbroken third wicket stand of 148 to recover from 12-2.
Prince led the way with 91 not out, his second score above 50 in the match, while du Plessis notched 58 – his highest score in the Championship for Lancs. [Scorecard]
“We have started well in both forms of the game,” said du Plessis. “We’ve had, you’d probably say, a dream start. The first three days was up and down, up and down, but for one session (after tea on day three) we outplayed them and changed the game.
“I felt really good at the crease. The way I batted, I knew that it would take something special to get me out. There was a little bit of pressure early on, but myself and Ash put the pressure back on them with our really good partnership.”
Anderson had earlier completed only the second ten wicket haul or more in his career – both have been for Lancashire – as he took his four wickets in double quick time this morning.
The England bowler had Luke Wright (35) caught behind by Luke Sutton with his first ball of the day, the sixth in total. Tom Smith was caught at first slip four overs later, while Robin Martin-Jenkins was pouched by Sutton six overs later.
Gary Keedy then took the last two wickets to fall, in the space of four balls, those of Rageb Aga and Damien Wright, both caught at short leg by Mark Chilton.
Keedy finished with second innings figures of 5-45 from 20.5 overs, while Anderson finished with figures of 5-53 from 19. Sussex lost their last five wickets this morning for just 19 runs from 12.4 overs in 48 minutes.
But Paul Horton was then caught by Murray Goodwin at point off the bowling of West Indian Corey Collymore for just four in the fifth over of Lancashire’s chase, to leave the Red Rose at 7-1. Tom Smith was next to go, flicking Collymore to Chris Nash at square leg for just five, to reduce his side to 12-2 in the eleventh over.
But that was as good as it got for Sussex because Prince and du Plessis batted up to lunch and beyond to kill any home hopes. Prince backed up 56 in the first innings with his 117-ball innings, which included eleven fours and one six, while du Plessis faced 92 balls and hit seven boundaries.
Lancashire, who travel to Northampton on Sunday for their second Friends Provident Trophy game of the year, claimed 19 points from this match.
[Day 1 Report] [Day 2 Report] [Day 3 Report]
Photo: Rebecca Trbojevich
(c) Lancashire CCC Ltd