Nottinghamshire secured their first LV= County Championship victory of the season when they defeated Sussex by 159 runs at Trent Bridge.
Having been set to score 310 to win, the visitors’ were blown away in just 32 overs by a combination of accurate bowling and some injudicious shot selection
Really they should have been all out for 140-150 but to get up to 250 was 100 too many and if we’d been able to get a 50 lead it could have been so different.Mark Robinson
Jake Ball and Luke Wood each picked up two wickets in their opening burst, before making way for Harry Gurney, who claimed the other four wickets to fall during an astonishing morning session in which a total of eleven batsmen were dismissed.
Gurney picked up a fifth wicket after lunch to end the day with career best figures of five for 43, only his third five wicket haul.
With five of their batsmen failing to get off the mark it was a torrid passage of play for the south coast side, who lost eight wickets inside 21 overs against the swinging ball.
Chris Nash was probably the only player to feel genuinely hard done by, after receiving a brute of a ball from Wood and being left with no alternative but to fence the popping delivery to Greg Smith at short leg.
Of the others, only Luke Wright, with an aggressive 39, made from 36 balls and which included eight fours, offered any real resistance before he lost his middle stump to Gurney.
The umpires added an extra fifteen minutes to the opening session but Ben Brown and Steve Magoffin at least managed to survive and keep their ends intact to take the game into the afternoon session.
Notts’ weren’t delayed for too long afterwards. Gurney bowled Magoffin, who had backed away trying to add to his brief cameo of 35 and last man Matt Hobden nudged Jake Ball through to the wicketkeeper, leaving Brown undefeated on 27, condemning Sussex to their first defeat on the ground since 2009.
Nottinghamshire’s second innings lasted only a further 15 minutes at the start of the day, with three wickets going down in only 20 deliveries, for the addition of just 15 runs.
Wood, the 19-year old who scored a century on the first day, fell to Ollie Robinson for 53 and then Samit Patel, for exactly 100 and Ball, for 1, were dismissed to consecutive deliveries from Magoffin, who finished with six for 50 in the innings and 12 wickets in the match.
Patel’s century, the 21st of his first class career, had come from 141 balls, with 12 fours and a six.
Nottinghamshire’s first success of the campaign lifts them out of the bottom two positions, whilst Sussex’s defeat leaves them with three wins and three losses from their opening six fixtures.
Mark Robinson, Sussex Cricket Manager, said afterwards: “The game was won and lost really in the first 15-30 balls that Woody (Luke Wood) faced on the first day. He could have been out to any one of them and then we he went into hitting mode we lost the plot a little bit – but he hit it well.
“Really they should have been all out for 140-150 but to get up to 250 was 100 too many and if we’d been able to get a 50 lead it could have been so different.
“The bounce become more up and down and once Jake Ball had knocked a couple over with the new ball today it became a very big ask for us.”
Mick Newell, Nottinghamshire’s director of cricket, said: “I think the last two games we’ve been disappointed to come out on the wrong side of low scoring matches but this week we’re absolutely delighted to come out on top.
“All credit to the team, certain people obviously made major contributions but the whole team has chipped in over the course of the three days.
“It was a dream match for Luke Wood, for a 19 year old I thought he was absolutely outstanding, Jake Ball is at last getting the rewards he deserves for the work he put in over the winter and Harry Gurney has that knack of taking wickets in clusters. He bowls quickly, he bowls aggressively and has that wicket-taking ability.”
Gurney, celebrating a five for 43 haul in the second innings, added: “I’ve been told that it’s a career best, so that’s going to cost me a £50 round of drinks for the dressing room, which is disappointing, but I guess I’d have taken it at the start.
“For the first three or four overs I felt dreadful. I kept banging it in halfway down and kept getting pulled to the boundary. But then every time I pitched it up I got a wicket. Sometimes that’s how it goes, you have to take the rough with the smooth.”