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Hampshire v Sussex (LV=CC)

Sunday 12 April - Wednesday 15 April 2015

Hampshire Slip To 92 Run Defeat On Division One Return

Third Day Fightback Not Enough

Hampshire came up short on the final day at the Ageas bowl, as Sussex claimed a 92-run victory in the first LV= County Championship game of the season.

An impressive display on the second day looked to have left the visitors in control of the match, but an excellent third-day fightback had left the hosts with every chance of hitting the highest ever run-chase at the ground on the fourth day.

Despite a battling innings from Sean Ervine (42), both overnight batsmen fell early on but regular wickets proved to be pivotal in a confident display from a Sussex side as they dismissed Hants for 285.

With high hopes at the start of play, the unfortunate departure of Will Smith (23), who was caught down the leg-side off the bowling of Matthew Hobden in just the second over of the day, made a tough task much more difficult for the hosts.

Adam Wheater (12) was bowled shortly after, again by Hobden, leaving Hants six wickets down and just 10 added to their overnight score of 181.

A 43-run partnership between Ervine, who continued to find the boundary regularly for the hosts, and Gareth Berg (14) gave Hants an outside chance of securing an unlikely win before both players fell in quick succession – the former falling at the hands of leg -spinner Luke Wells (2-24).

All-rounder Chris Wood (30) hit some hefty blows to narrow the gap slightly before an edge behind saw his downfall.

James Tomlinson (6) was then the last man to go, as he was bowled by Wells to help Sussex wrap up victory in the morning session on day four.

Words: Will Brewster