Jason Gillespie has praised his latest signing for a match-saving innings.

But the Sussex head coach is concerned by his side’s batting further up the order.

Thomason, on his Championship debut, made 80 to stave off any thought of defeat to Worcestershire at Kidderminster.

He combined some aggressive hitting with a wise head as he cleverly managed the strike on day four of the Specsavers County Championship tussle.

The 21-year-old signed last week after being let go by Warwickshire, where he had only played white-ball cricket.

Gillespie said: “The way he went about things was excellent.

“He and Abi Sakande batted together for the best part of 20 overs and Abi faced less than 30 balls.

“I thought for a young man playing his first game, his management of that situation was fantastic and it was a very mature knock. He knew when to attack and when to rotate the strike.

“We are leaving a lot of work to do for our numbers six, seven and eight who are doing the bulk of the work.

“We’ve spoken about it and there have been a couple of games where the top four or five had done their jobs but this game they haven’t done that and it’s something we need to work and improve on.”

Sussex had appeared to on course for defeat inside three days before showing commendable backbone, led by Laurie Evans’ century.

Lancashire look strong at the top of the division but the race for two further promotion places is hugely competitive.

Gillespie said: “Coming into today’s play, it was important we stuck to our task and didn’t look too far ahead because you can lose your focus on the job in hand.

“It was about securing the game and we had a number of very good partnerships and we were able to do that.

“The surface won out in the end. There wasn’t enough in it for the bowlers.

“If you were willing to dig in as a batter, it was very difficult and you had to play a long time and we didn’t have enough time in the game to force a result.”

Sussex will still be without opener Phil Salt (hand) when they host Durham at Hove from Monday.