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Sussex wrap up emphatic win to climb clear of dropzone
Sussex eased their relegation fears with a comprehensive victory over Northamptonshire at Hove.
Northants went into the third day still trailing on 80-3 in their second innings and still requiring another 209 runs just to make Sussex bat again.
Steve Magoffin took three wickets in 11 balls to virtually end any hopes of that happening with the visitors eventually dismissed for 204 in the extra half an hour taken before lunch.
The victory – by an innings and 85 runs – saw Sussex pick up 23 points and lifted them above both Durham and Middlesex into fifth place in division one.
Northants remain rooted to the foot of the table and an eighth defeat in ten matches means they have little chance of staying up.
Lewis Hatchett made the initial breakthrough in the fourth over of the day as nightwatchman Olly Stone was caught at third slip by Steff Piolet off the shoulder of the bat.
Then it was Magoffin’s turn to get in on the action. The Australian - who finished with match figures of 8-40 - trapped Matt Spriegel lbw offering no shot, removed Kyle Coetzer for a duck with a ball that bounced sharply and found the edge of his bat and then added the wicket of Rob Newton who nicked behind.
Magoffin’s hopes of a third ten-wicket haul of his career had to be put on hold as he was replaced by Matt Hobden who struck with only his fourth ball as Andrew Hall was well caught at second slip by James Tredwell.
At that point it looked likely that Sussex would wrap up victory before lunch but Ben Duckett and Steven Crook put on 50 for the ninth wicket to add some form of respectability.
Ashar Zaidi took the ninth wicket in the final over before the scheduled lunch break when he had Duckett caught at short leg by Chris Nash for 23.
That prompted an extra half an hour to see if Sussex could get the final wicket and Zaidi wrapped things up when David Willey was stumped.
It left Crook high and dry on 52 having brought up his half century with a big six off Tredwell from 46 balls.