Cricket's wooden spoon goes to Sussex - but they do manage a batting record in the process

Derbyshire condemned Sussex to the wooden spoon in the LV= Insurance County Championship by claiming their first win of the season at Hove.

Ben Brown's runs could not save Sussex / Picture: Getty
Ben Brown's runs could not save Sussex / Picture: Getty

After enforcing the follow-on with a lead of 165, Derbyshire bowled Sussex out for 187 to win by nine wickets with more than a day to spare. Sussex finished last of the 18 counties for the first time in 21 years.

After being dismissed for 300 in the first innings, Sussex’s hopes of turning the game around disappeared in a three over spell after lunch when they lost three key wickets for eight runs, including skipper Tom Haines and Ben Brown, who made a third-ball duck after scoring 157 in the first innings.

Haines and Ali Orr had put on 42 without alarm but Orr nibbled fatally at the second ball after lunch from Ed Moulton, who then bowled Brown when he unluckily dragged a wide long hop onto his middle stump later in the over. Haines, who was awarded his county cap at tea, took his aggregate for the season to 1176 and will finish as the country’s leading run-scorer, but on 26 he was run out by Matt Critchley’s throw from mid-wicket after being sent back by Harrison Ward.

Ward was beaten by leg-spinner Critchley’s quicker ball and when Dustin Melton returned for a second spell to win lbw verdicts against Ibrahim and Oli Carter, Sussex still needed 49 runs to make Derbyshire bat again. Delray Rawlins counter-attacked with 58 off 46 balls, including nine fours and two sixes, as he made his highest score of the season before he was last out as Wayne Madsen and Anuj Dal wrapped up the tail.

It left Derbyshire needing 23 to win and Matt Critchley, who was promoted up the order, hit the winning runs to reach 1,000 for the season.

Earlier, Derbyshire had enforced the follow on for the first time since 2016. Brown added seven to his overnight 150 before edging Ben Aitchison to second slip. His five-hour innings of 190 balls contained 19 fours.

Brown added 87 with Jack Carson for the seventh wicket and Carson finished 64 not out with ten fours. Sussex’s last three batsmen all fell for nought, although Sean Hunt hung around long enough to put on 25 with Carson to earn Sussex a third batting bonus point.

It was the highest score in a first-class match when the innings contained six ducks, the previous record was the 295 made by Canterbury in 1922-23 on MCC’s tour of New Zealand.

Sussex coach Ian Salisbury said, "To lose by nine wickets is obviously disappointing. It’s funny that we break a record for the highest score with six ducks but if half of those get runs we save the follow on and it’s a different game.

"I can’t fault the effort of the guys but the table doesn’t lie. It can only get better from here and I genuinely think with the quality of the younger players we have given opportunity to this season I think the future is bright. To be able to present Tom Haines with his county cap today was a very proud moment for me as coach. To finish as leading run scorer is a tremendous achievement. Tom has grown as a cricketer and a person so much this season."