Worcestershire opener Richard Oliver scored his first LV = County Championship Division One century – and Alexei Kervezee fell just seven short of his hundred – on the second day of the see-saw clash with Sussex at Hove.

Their efforts plus a fine 70 from Gareth Andrew were largely responsible for Worcestershire gaining a first innings lead of 44 and claiming four batting points in scoring 389 all out.

Sussex were left three overs batting in their second innings and reached 8-0 by the close.

Oliver, who 12 months ago was playing Minor Counties Cricket for Shropshire, reached three figures with a single off Luke Wells.

The left hander went to the milestone off 207 balls with 13 boundaries.

Oliver had been contemplating emigrating to Australia before offered a trial by Worcestershire after scoring back to back Second Eleven hundreds against Derbyshire.

The rest is history as Oliver impressed in the NatWest T20 Blast, earned an 18 month contract, forced his way into the Championship side and scored 179 against Gloucestershire.

Now he has reached three figures in only his second match in the top flight and it was an invaluable innings on a pacey and bouncy wicket.

Oliver showed there is more to his game than just aggressive strokeplay as he was prepared to graft for his runs in between playing some fine shots.

He shared in partnerships of 77 in 29 overs with Alex Gidman and 84 in 15 overs with Kervezee.

Oliver was eventually fifth out for 101 with the total on 227 when he was caught at short extra cover by Luke Wright off occasional spinner Luke Wells.

Then Kervezee, in his first appearance of the season, took over the mantle of main run- scorer with excellent support from Andrew.

The Dutch international made 93 from 108 balls with two sixes and 12 fours before falling to Ajmal Shahzad.

Worcestershire lost two early wickets after resuming on 45-0 in reply to Sussex's 345 all out on the opening day.

Matthew Hobden made the double breakthrough for Sussex.

Worcestershire skipper Daryl Mitchell on 26 pushed forward and was bowled in the third over of the morning and then Tom Fell, a century-maker against Yorkshire last week, was undone by an outswinger and caught behind by Ben Brown for three.

Worcestershire were then 60-2 in the 20th over.

Oliver had a let-off on 23 when Craig Cachopa at first slip failed to hold onto a difficult chance off Steve Magoffin before he square drove the same bowler to the boundary.

The left hander was struck on the helmet by a Tynan Mills delivery and needed treatment before collecting successive fours off the same bowler through the covers and backward point. 

Oliver brought up his 50 with a two square of the wicket off Hobden on his return to the attack.

He had a second let-off on 58 when dropped at slip by Cachopa off Hobden.

Gidman looked in good touch, collecting three fours in an over from Ajmal Shahzad, but after making 29 he was adjudged lbw to Steve Magoffin shortly after lunch.

Magoffin also had Tom Kohler-Cadmore (9) caught at slip after driving at a widish delivery.

Kervezee looked in good form on his return to the side in place of Moeen Ali and lofted Ashar Zaidi and Wells for six.

After Oliver's dismissal, wicket-keeper Ben Cox departed in the same over for nought after sweeping at Wells.

But Kervezee went to his half century off just 54 balls and found another determined partner in Andrew.

The second new ball became available for the second over after tea and Cachopa spilled a third chance of the day at slip off Magoffin with Kervezee on 72 and the total 281-6.

The 300 came up in the 87th over to secure a third batting point for the visitors.

Kervezee's fine knock ended when he fell at slip to a juggling catch by Sussex skipper Ed Joyce off Shahzad with Worcestershire 315-7.

His partnership with Andrew was worth 88 in 22 overs.

Joyce also held an edge from Jack Shantry (3) off Magoffin but Andrew found another willing ally in Sachithra Senanayake during a stand of 57 in 10 overs.

Andrew went to his fifty off 95 balls with six fours and had moved onto 70 before being bowled by Hobden.

Senanayake was dismissed in the same manner by Zaidi in the next over for 32.

Worcestershire – first innings

Mitchell b Hobden 26

Oliver c Wright b Wells 101

Fell c Brown b Hobden 3

Gidman lbw Magoffin 29

Kohler-Cadmore c sub b Magoffin 9

Kervezee c Joyce b Shahzad 93

Cox lbw Wells 0

Andrew b Hebden 70

Shantry c Joyce b Magoffin 3

Senanayake b Zaidi 32

Morris not out 0

Extras 23

Total (all out) 389 in 105.1 overs

FOW: 56, 60, 137, 153, 227, 227, 315, 332, 389, 389

Bowling

Magoffin 26-6-69-3

Shahzad 13-2-44-1

Hobden 26.5-7-86-3

Mills 16.3-3-63-0

Zaidi 12.1-1-48-1

Wells 10.4-1-67-2