Varun Chopra’s fine century condemned Sussex to a 118-run demolition in the Royal London One-Day Cup at Edgbaston.
The in-form Chopra’s 111 from 139 balls set up a total of 273-5 which was more than enough to send Sussex on their way to a second successive defeat in this competition.
It was all looking so good for the county when Ed Joyce (47) and Luke Wells (22) put on 71 for the first wicket in reply but they subsided to 155 all out after Boyd Rankin had removed the openers in the space of three balls on his return from injury.
Trialist Josh Poysden, a Shoreham-born leg-spinner who has played for Sussex’s second XI, made the next breakthrough when Craig Cachopa drove to deep mid off and Jeetan Patel advanced the collapse with two wickets in four balls. From that point, there was no way back.
Chopra successfully transferred his consistency in Twenty20 into the longer format by completing his seventh List A century after taking marginally the lesser role in an opening partnership of 160 in which William Porterfield made 83 from 100 balls.
It was by no means a deluge of runs as the initial ten-over power play produced three maidens and 45 dot balls, including 17 in succession against Yasir Arafat and Lewis Hatchett.
The canny Arafat was by far the pick of the attack, although he was only rewarded in his final spell when taking three wickets – Chopra among them – at an overall cost of 36.
Sussex’s trio of spinners conceded 121 runs in 22 overs. Their only success was the one that broke the hosts’ opening stand. Porterfield, having quietly picked off eight fours, went for something more extravagant, hoisting Will Beer to deep midwicket where Matt Machan held a good catch.
At that point Chopra was on 70 but there was to be no immediate alteration to his tempo. Although he reached his first 50 with a six over long on off Ashar Zaidi, he later went through 24 overs without a boundary until taking consecutive fours off Beer in the 90s.
Jonathan Trott managed only one boundary before he was caught behind for 15 and Laurie Evans failed to connect properly with a scoop shot off Arafat.
Rikki Clarke did not have a lot of time but his 31 from 22 balls proved to be an important contribution until he top-edged a simple chance back to Arafat.