Viljoen takes eight as Derbyshire win at Hove
Hardus Viljoen claimed the best figures of his career, taking a stunning 8-90, as Derbyshire claimed their second Specsavers County Championship victory of the season at Hove.
Viljoen was the star performer claiming the first eight Sussex wickets to fall in the second innings. This followed his 7-80 in the first innings to end with match figures of 15-170 – also a career-best for the paceman.
He became the first Derbyshire player to take 15 wickets in a match since the great Cliff Gladwin in 1952 and returned the best ever figures for the Club against Sussex.
His devastating post-tea spell reduced Sussex from 267-3 to 318-8, before Harry Podmore (2-74) claimed the final two wickets to complete a thrilling win by 45 runs.
At the start of the day, Derbyshire declared on their overnight score of 322-8, with Podmore unbeaten on 66, to set Sussex 390 to win with 96 overs to be bowled in the day.
Viljoen, who bowled with real pace throughout the day, started his demolition job in his second over when he had Angus Robson caught at third slip by Matt Critchley.
But by lunchtime Sussex had put themselves in with a chance of pulling off a stunning victory. They were 110-1 and needed another 280.
Luke Wells and Stiaan van Zyl had set the platform for an unlikely win, van Zyl bringing up the 100 partnership just before lunch when he straight drove Luis Reece for four.
After the break, Wells hit Viljoen for three successive fours but was then lbw looking for a fourth. And when Chris Nash was caught in the slips for just nine in Viljoen’s next over, Sussex were 147-3 and Derbyshire were back in the match.
But the match turned towards Sussex once again as even Viljoen struggled against van Zyl and the more pugnacious Luke Wright as the pair put on 120 for the fourth wicket. At tea, when Sussex were 236-3, needing another 154 from 36 overs, they were favourites to win the match.
Over to Viljoen who turned the game towards Derbyshire once again. He had van Zyl caught at third man for 85 and then dismissed the Sussex captain Ben Brown, caught at slip. Two balls later, he then removed dangerman Wright’s middle stump for 80 and Sussex were struggling at 276-6.
Ollie Robinson and Jofra Archer continued to encourage the Sussex supporters with a seventh wicket stand of 31, but Viljoen took out Robinson’s off stump for 15 before having Archer caught at slip for 25 to take his eighth wicket.
Viljoen ended the innings with 8-90, to go with his 7-80 in the first innings, and closed with match figures of 15-170 – the fifth best ever for the Club.
Podmore finished the job for Derbyshire with the final two wickets, thanks to fine catches by Hamidullah Qadri and Ben Slater, to dismiss Sussex for 344. But Viljoen was the great hero of the day.
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