Horror day with the bat steers County towards defeat

James Middlebrook top scored in the County's first innings with 28
James Middlebrook top scored in the County's first innings with 28
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LV= County Championship defeat number eight is closing in on Northamptonshire after a dreadful second day against Sussex at Hove.

At the close of play, the visitors trailed by 209 runs with seven second innings wickets remaining and that tells the complete story.

After bowling the home side out for 405, the County succumbed for a paltry 116 and, having been made to follow-on, backed this up with 80-3 second time around.

It was the latest in a string of batting calamities that put the County utterly on the back foot and it could have been an awful lot worse.

At one stage they were 0-3 and 20-5 and when opener James Middlebrook was the sevneth man out for a top score of 28, the score had reached a dismal 65.

Only a bit of late order defiance from Steven Crook and David Willey enabled them to reach three figures which left them with a first innings deficit of 289.

Australian seamer Steve Magoffin was the chief destroyer with the outstanding figures of 11-4-12-5 and there were a couple for Matthew Hobden.

Unsurprisingly, Ed Joyce invited the County to bat again and although it was slightly better, the top three had all departed by the end of the day.

Earlier, Luke Wright had advanced from his overnight 111 to 158 before becoming the ninth wicket to fall, the fourth to Andrew Hall who was the pick of the visiting attack, as he has been all season, with 4-77.