Bottom of the table Northants are heading for another defeat in the LV= County Championship after Sussex’s Steve Magoffin wrecked their batting with five wickets on the second day of their First Division fixture at Hove.
After Sussex had been bowled out for 405, Magoffin took three wickets in ten balls as Northants lost skipper Stephen Peters, James Kettleborough and Matt Spriegel without a run on the board.
From the ruins of 65/6, Northants recovered slightly but were all out for 116 in just 37.3 overs and followed on 289 runs behind.
Given what had happened earlier in the day, there was every prospect that Sussex could hustle their visitors to a two-day defeat. However Northants offered more resolve after tea but still lost three second-innings wickets, two of them to Matt Hobden.
James Middlebrook miss timed a hook to long leg, before Hobden breached Kettleborough’s defences, whilst Peters was run out by Luke Wright’s direct hit from mid-off as they closed on 80/3, still 209 behind.
Magoffin is now the county’s leading wicket-taker with 44 after claiming his third five-wicket haul of the summer. He began the rout by uprooting Peters’ middle and off stumps with his third delivery. Kettleborough edged the fifth ball of the innings to third slip and Spriegel was bowled with the last ball of his second over.
Hobden and Lewis Hatchett provided excellent support and it was a day when every bowling change seemed to work for skipper Ed Joyce. Rob Newton was leg before to Hobden’s first legitimate delivery before Magoffin claimed his fourth wicket courtesy of a stunning catch to his left by wicketkeeper Ben Brown off Kyle Coetzer’s inside edge.
Ben Duckett edged the first ball of a new spell by Hatchett to Brown and then Magoffin returned for a third time and with his third ball drew Middlebrook half-forward and ended the opener’s 102-minute vigil.
There was no way back for Northants from 65/7, but Andrew Hall and Steven Crook did add 21 for the eighth wicket before another bowling change brought immediate reward. Joyce brought a fielder into a catching position at short mid-wicket and Hall duly drove Steffan Piolet’s second ball straight to him.
David Willey was leg before to one that kept a shade low and Crook, who had made a century at Lord’s last week, was last out for 24 when he drove slow left-armer Ashar Zaidi to long-on.
Earlier, Sussex’s last four wickets had added a further 86 runs with Luke Wright finally dismissed for 158. He was struck on the forearm by a lifter from Hall and dropped at long leg on 148 by Olly Stone before holing out to long off, having faced 228 balls and hit 24 fours and a six.
Hall also picked up the wicket of Magoffin to finish with 4 for 77, whilst James Tredwell was bowled by a delivery from Crook that kept low and Hobden caught at mid-on off a leading edge.