HOVE (final day): Sussex (22pts) beat Worcestershire (4pts) by an innings and 14 runs.

Gareth Batty praised his young Worcestershire side despite the defeat at Hove that, after a thrilling Oval finale, eventually saw Sussex deprive Durham and Lancashire of the title.

With such an inexperienced side at his disposal and with five wickets already down, stand-in skipper Batty always knew it would be a tall order depriving Sussex of the victory they needed to claim a third County Championship crown in five years.

Indeed, it was all over just before lunchtime on the final day despite Batty and his young colleague Moeen Ali extending their overnight partnership to 117, doubling the score from when they came together.

Despite improving his career best for the second match running, Moeen missed an attempted sweep and was bowled by Mushtaq Ahmed for 85.

Moeen's cousin Kabir was next man in and he also proved difficult to dislodge, contributing 23 to a stand with Batty before attempting an over-ambitious stroke and losing his leg stump to seamer Robin Martin-Jenkins. And then Worcester resistance all but ended when, having hit four sixes and nine fours, Batty was lured down the track by Mushtaq and stumped for a season's best 84.

Mushtaq then mopped up to take his haul to 13 wickets in the match. And Sussex had another five hours to wait before learning that Lancashire's gutsy final day effort in trying to chase down 489 against Surrey had failed. But, for Worcestershire, this match was all about the future, not the present.

"We might have had an inexperienced team out there," said Batty. "But this game has proved a decent exercise as far as some of our young lads are concerned.

"Moeen has showed what he's capable of again with another good knock, and it was great to see Daryl Mitchell get some runs. He's the sort of cricketer you really want to see succeed, given how much work he puts into it. And Richard Jones will certainly be better for the experience.

"It's all about learning and they'll be the better for having played against the team who, as the table now shows, really are the best in the country."