Brett Hutton and Liam Patterson-White both claimed three wickets as Nottinghamshire wore down Sussex’s final-day resistance to claim a ten-wicket win in their LV County Championship opener at Hove.
Sussex, for whom all-rounder Dan Ibrahim was unable to bat in their second innings because of a shoulder injury sustained earlier in the match, were bowled out for 172 shortly after tea and the Division Two title favourites scored the 14 runs they needed in 2.1 overs.
Nottinghamshire proved why many had touted them for promotion this year but were made to work through as the young Sussex side dug deep and put Notts under serious pressure for the first five sessions of the match.
The Sussex batsmen had to be prised out but Notts' skipper Steven Mullaney, whose career-best 192 helped set up their victory.
Sussex began on 29 for one, still 130 behind, but for nearly an hour Ali Orr and nightwatchman Jamie Atkins looked relatively untroubled until Atkins, who had faced 53 balls, was eventually dismissed.
Tom Alsop was caught low down by wicketkeeper Tom Moores, trying to guide a ball from Lyndon James down to third man but Orr and Oli Carter dug in for 14 overs before Nottinghamshire cut through Sussex’s middle order in a decisive hour after lunch.
Carter was lbw to Hutton but could consider himself unlucky to be dismissed by a ball that kept low. Orr (45) batted for three hours, 40 minutes and it took a superb reflex catch at short leg by Ben Slater to end his spirited resistance when Hutton found some extra bounce.
Slow left-armer Patterson-White got one to turn out of the rough and Tom Clark, who made his maiden hundred in the first innings, was caught at slip for 26. Delray Rawlins played on to James trying to pull and when Patterson-White snared Archie Lenham lbw, Sussex had lost five wickets for 59 in 12.5 overs.
They still needed four runs to make Nottinghamshire bat again when Steve Finn and Henry Crocombe came together but the last-wicket pair hung on for 13 overs either side of tea until Patterson-White surprised Crocombe with a quicker ball that trapped him in front.
Nottinghamshire openers Haseeb Hameed and Ben Slater needed 13 balls to knock off the runs and they took 23 points and Sussex 5.
Sussex yet again showed plenty of signs of encouragement throughout the match, including a maiden century for Tom Clark, runs for Orr and wickets for Steve Finn who looked to be in fantastic shape for the first game of the season. They travel to Derbyshire Thursday and will be hopeful for a win, with the likes of Mohammad Rizwan and Cheteshwar Pujura coming into the team.
After a fantastic opening session for the Sussex attack, Wayne Madsen fought back to finish the day on 171 not-out, taking Derbyshire to 339-5 at stumps.
Ian Salisbury has named a 14-man squad for tomorrow’s LV= Insurance County Championship match against Derbyshire at The 1st Central County Ground.
Sussex were unable to follow up the fantastic win against Surrey, falling to defeat against Kent at Canterbury by 6 wickets.