County Championship: Red Rose wilts by the Mersey

First published in Sport

Steve Magoffin rounded off a sensational debut with second-innings figures of 7-34 as Sussex thumped reigning County Champions Lancashire by 10 wickets at Aigburth.

The Australian seamer, signed as Sussex’s overseas player for an initial two-month spell, was chiefly responsible for restricting the Red Rose to 176 all out in their second innings, leaving the visitors with a victory target of one.

Maintaining a disciplined line and extracting more life from the pitch than any other bowler in this match, Magoffin was hugely impressive throughout and claimed four wickets on the third day after Lancashire had resumed 91 behind on 85-4.

Ashwell Prince and Luke Procter frustrated Sussex for much of the morning as they extended their fifth-wicket stand, worth 36 overnight, to 88, but things soon went awry for the hosts once the latter had fallen for 46.

The last six wickets fell for just 39 runs, England spinner Monty Panesar finishing with 3-54 while Magoffin completed a stunning match return of 9-55 from 35.5 overs. Sussex took 22 points to Lancashire's three.

Beaten in their opening championship game for the first time in 14 years, Lancashire, dismissed for 124 after losing the toss on day one, will be aware that significant improvement is required if they are to mount a strong defence of their title.

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