Jason Gillespie has urged Sussex to take the next step after promotion near miss.

Their hopes of a return to the top tier of the Specsavers County Championship ended on a flat, slow Hove deck as they drew with Warwickshire yesterday.

Actually, the fatal blows were defeats recently at Durham and on a spicier track at Lord’s.

While guarded in his words, Gillespie was clearly unhappy with the wicket for this final home fixture of the season.

He said: “It was a slow pitch. It didn’t provide the bounce and carry that we had hoped for.”

Sussex livened things up later in the day. They gave the gloves to Harry Finch, the ball to Phil Salt and watched them team up for the latter’s maiden first-class wicket as Sam Hain was caught playing outside off stump.

Salt ran away, arm aloft, and was mobbed by ecstatic team mates.

Now Gillespie will hope there is something more meaningful to celebrate next term.

He told The Argus: “If you look at our batting, we have had some really good progress.

“I think we need to be a bit more consistent with the bat. We have lost wickets in clumps at times.

“It will come down to individuals. Getting more 75-run, 100-run partnerships as a team.

“The more we can do that will help the consistency of our batting.

“I have been really pleased with our bowling.

“We have had essentially the four seamers plus Danny (Briggs, spinner), who I think has been outstanding this year.

“We will see if we can have some improvements there.

“We talk about very simple bowling plans.

“It’s good, old-fashioned line and length and we do that well but I think we are still a little way away from absolutely being ruthless.

“There have been games where we have been ruthless with our line and length and we have just not let up and we have been at batsmen.

“But a way to improve specifically would be to improve our percentage of hitting that top of off-stump.

“If we can do that, if we can string more good deliveries together and not get impatient, I think that will hold us in good stead.”