Sussex 202 and 505-7 (declared)
Gloucestershire 195 and 173-9
Despite a hot and cold season, the hosts secured their best finish in five years, marching their way to third in Division Two of the County Championship with a thumping 339-run victory.
Gloucestershire needed a further 400 runs at the start of play but capitulated in the morning session, losing their final four wickets for only 60 runs.
Barely 10 minutes in, Brad Currie snagged the first two poles, finding the edges of Zafar Gohar and Matt Taylor. They were caught by wicket-keeper Oli Carter and second slip Tom Clark just one ball apart.
In only his second appearance of the campaign, Currie claimed three for 27 from his 11 overs, admirable returns for a bowler not fancied for most of the season.
Off-spinner Jack Carson then took the final two wickets, tempting tailender Josh Shaw into a rash shot that was caught at mid-on before trapping Zaman Akhter lbw.
Nine wickets down, Gloucestershire conceded defeat – last man Ed Middleton unable to bat with a shoulder injury.
Despite today’s rout, County Championship cricket has been far from plain sailing on the south coast this season. After victory over Durham in their opening fixture, England’s oldest county drew their next nine, failing to take advantage of potentially match-winning opportunities in the fourth innings.
After a long-awaited second win of the season, Sussex had 12 points deducted and four players suspended for their on-field conduct. Leading wicket taker Ari Karvelas remains unavailable, under investigation for an alleged discriminatory remark he made in the fixture.
Still, three victories and a third-place finish represent a colossal improvement for a Sussex side who’d won only a single game in each of the previous two seasons.
After the close of play, head coach Paul Farbrace said: “We played good cricket throughout the whole game. So many people contributed to the win.
“It gives a lot of people a lot of confidence. Ali Orr got runs. Tom Clark – his last two games have been the best two games he’s played for the club.
“Young (James) Coles finished with another hundred which cements his confidence. Sean Hunt – that was the best I’ve seen him bowl. It was his best game by a country mile.
“There’s lots of things that will give people confidence going into the winter.
“I’m reasonably pleased with where we finished. I think we’ve shown good progress and it’s nice to win three games. But equally, you always want to win more.
“The best two teams have been promoted. Durham were the best side and Worcestershire played really good cricket throughout. There’s no question that they deserved to go up.
“If we’d have been promoted, the chances are that we would’ve come straight down again because we wouldn’t have been ready to compete at the next level. Regardless of who we bring in, we’ve still got some young players who’ve got a fair bit of work to do.”