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Why a win at Edgbaston will really have Sussex believing
Jimmy Anyon admits ending their Edgbaston hoodoo would bolster Sussex’s belief they can win the County Championship this season.
Sussex travel to Warwickshire’s headquarters for their second match of the season aiming for their first win at the ground since 1982.
Anyon dismisses any suggestion of a jinx but the former Warwickshire seamer acknowledges it would be a significant psychological boost if Sussex could taste victory there for what would only be the second time in 53 years.
Anyon said: “Everybody is aware we have a bad record at Edgbaston but it is not something we talk about. We can’t escape it as other people seem to mention it but it doesn’t affect us at all.
“Edgbaston is always a tough place to play. Warwickshire are a good team and don’t lose many games at home so I don’t think there is any sort of gypsy curse on us when we play there or anything like that!
“It is in the past. This is a new season now and if we play the kind of cricket we did against Middlesex then it will be hard for them to match us. But we are also aware that we can’t expect every game to be as easy as it was against Middlesex and will need to be at our very best.
“It is their first game of the summer so hopefully we can catch them cold. It can work both ways because they will be enthusiastic as it is their first game but also they are going into the unknown a little bit.
“We have got a game under our belts which helps and the fact we won it so well means we will go there full of confidence.”
Anyon played a big role in Sussex’s emphatic victory over Middlesex – with both the bat and the ball.
The 30-year-old took 4-91 in the match as Middlesex were blown away for 105 and 156 and scored only his fifth first class half century of his career to finish as the second highest scorer in the match behind centurion Matt Prior.
There were also important contributions from Steffan Piolet (25), Steve Magoffin (19 not out) and Jon Lewis (35) and Anyon admits that scoring runs down the order was an area the bowlers identified during the winter.
He added: “We discussed how important it was during the winter that everybody improves their batting and that we all score more runs this season.
“It can make such a difference when you have a strong lower order and there are no excuses as the staff here are always willing to throw down more balls for you and help you improve.
“If the tail wags it can change the momentum of the whole game. As bowlers we know that if you get a team seven down you are hoping to wrap things up pretty quickly so if the opposition then goes and adds another 100 runs it is deflating.
“The teams that have won the title in the last few years have all scored runs down the order so it is something we need to emulate if we are going to challenge this summer.”
Sussex welcome back Chris Jordan after he was rested for the opening win against Middlesex but Chris Nash and Luke Wright are still unavailable while a late decision will be made on Matt Prior’s troublesome Achilles.
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