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Yorkshire seal dramatic victory over Sussex after tea on final day

Yorkshire took six wickets after tea on day four - five to Dom Bess and David Willey - to seal a dramatic LV= Insurance County Championship win over Sussex with 32 balls remaining at Emerald Headingley.

Opener Ali Orr’s debut 67, supplemented by 52 from Aaron Thomason, looked set to give inexperienced Sussex a notable draw as they reached tea at 165 for four in their second innings, still 80 adrift.

But Bess and Willey underpinned a remarkable collapse as Yorkshire moved within four points of Group Three leaders Lancashire with their fourth win, this one by an innings and 30 runs.

Thomason opened the door with a loose drive at Bess and was caught at slip, and both Bess and Willey returned double wicket maidens as the visitors lost five for seven to fall from 180 for four to 187 for nine and then later 215 all out.

Captain Steve Patterson took the winning wicket when bowled Ben Brown. Off-spinner Bess finished with four for 51 from 35 overs.

Yorkshire’s 23 points also moves them 12 clear of third-placed Northamptonshire with them and Lancashire their final two group opponents next month.

It looked like Orr and then Thomason would ensure parity on a slow pitch but ultimately, a young Sussex side failed to hold on after Thomason’s departure. 

Bess had Thomason and Dan Ibrahim caught at slip before Willey had Jack Carson caught at leg slip, Stuart Meaker caught at short leg and Henry Crocombe caught behind fending at a short one.

That left Sussex 187 for nine with almost 17 overs remaining, a tally whittled down by captain Brown and Jamie Atkins.

The evening collapse was harsh after Sussex battled hard for most of this fixture.

Orr, 20, is one of nine first-class debutants for Sussex since the start of last season’s Bob Willis Trophy, including two this week. Ibrahim, 16, is the other.

During the morning, Bess broke a 60-run opening partnership between Orr and Tom Haines, who was acrobatically caught by Adam Lyth running around from slip.

Three balls later, in the 35th over, Jordan Thompson had Stiaan van Zyl caught behind for nought as Sussex slipped to 61 for two.

Yorkshire’s next success did not come until the 70th over when Orr was bowled driving at Bess - 125 for three with almost 50 overs remaining.

Ben Coad then had Travis Head caught behind just before tea, but even then there was no sign of the madness which followed.

Yorkshire captain Steve Patterson said: “I honestly couldn’t see how we were going to win the game, but then it went to us having the best part of an hour to get one or two wickets.

“I’m still a bit shell-shocked as to how we managed to do it. But I’m delighted.

“The message from myself and Andrew Gale this morning was to keep it dry for long periods. Then we were always in the game. The fact they were always behind meant that two or three wickets quickly would turn the game on its head.

“The key for me is that qualification is now in our hands. That’s all we can ask for.”

Sussex head coach, Ian Salisbury added: "Well played to Yorkshire. It was a good toss to win. The hardest part of the game was to bat on the first day, and we hung in as long as we could.

“Ali Orr, the way he batted on the first morning in overcast and gloomy conditions and the way he batted against the spin, he is going to have a good future in front of him.

“Yorkshire are a good side, and they were under pressure to win. It was a good spell from David Willey. I never thought they would be out of the game.

“I don’t mind losing, but you have to learn from it.”

Listen to Salisbury's reaction in full with BBC Sussex Sport's Adrian Harms here:

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