Hostile Viljoen wrecks Sussex run chase

Derbyshire won by 45 runs


Hardus Viljoen took the first eight wickets to give Derbyshire a rare victory and leave Sussex’s outside hopes of promotion in tatters

Hardus Viljoen bowls for South Africa A, Australia A v South Africa A, Townville, August 7, 2014

Hardus Viljoen had a chance of all ten wickets  •  Getty Images

Derbyshire 338 (Godleman 51, Reece 51, Wiese 4-63, Garton 3-79) and 322 for 8 dec (Podmore 66*, Whittingham 5-80) beat Sussex 271 (Wright 70*, Viljoen 7-80) and 344 (Wells 77, van Zyl 85, Wright 80, Viljoen 8-90) by 45 runs

A magnificent display of fast bowling by burly South African Hardus Viljoen inspired Derbyshire to only their second championship victory of the season against Sussex at Hove.

Viloen took the first eight wickets to have a chance of all-10 before Harry Podmore nipped in for the last two to complete Derbyshire’s win and end Sussex’s promotion hopes in the process

Viljoen, 28, followed up his first innings return of seven for 80 to take 8 for 90 to finish with career best match figures of 15 for 170 as Sussex, bowled out for 344, were beaten by 45 runs. It was the fifth best match return by a Derbyshire bowler.

This was the fifth time Viljoen had taken ten or more wickets in an match – but it’s the first time he has achieved it for Derbyshire, who must regret that he has been injured for most of the season.

At the start of the day it looked as though Derbyshire had been stingy with their declaration. By declaring their innings closed at their overnight score of 322 for 8 they set Sussex a formidable 390 for victory.

But Sussex had to go for the win to keep their promotion hopes alive. And Derbyshire knew that that would give them their best chance of victory.

Viljoen, who is a genuine fast bowler, started his demolition job in his second over of the day, when he had Angus Robson caught at third slip. The fielder, Matt Critchley, took the ball with his hands high above his head.

But by lunchtime Sussex had put themselves in with a chance of pulling off a stunning victory. They were 110 for 1, and needed another 280.

Luke Wells and Stiaan van Zyl had set the platform for an unlikely win by the home side, van Zyl bringing up the 100 partnership just before lunch when he straight drove Luis Reece for four.

After the break, Wells hit Viljoen for three successive fours but was then lbw looking for a fourth. And when Chris Nash was caught in the slips for just nine in Viljoen’s next over Sussex were 147 for 3 and Derbyshire were back in the match.

But the match turned towards Sussex once again as even Viljoen struggled against van Zyl and the more pugnacious Luke Wright as the pair put on 120 for the fourth wicket. At tea, when Sussex were 236 for 3, needing another 154 from 36 overs, they were clear favourites to win the match.

But then Viljoen turned the game towards Derbyshire once again. He had van Zyl caught at third man for 85 and then dismissed the Sussex captain Ben Brown, caught at slip. Then, when he plucked out Wright’s middle stump for 80 with a yorker Sussex were struggling at 276 for 6.

Ollie Robinson and Jofra Archer continued to encourage the Sussex supporters with a seventh wicket stand of 31. But then Viljoen took out Robinson’s off stump for 15 before having Archer caught at slip for 25.

Podmore finished the job for Derbyshire with the final two wickets, thanks to fine catches by Hamidullah Qadri and Ben Slater. But Viljoen was the great hero of the day.

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