Sussex beat Kent to head South Group in T20 Blast

Sussex all-rounder Delray Rawlins had a great game with bat and ball, hitting an unbeaten 62 off 33 balls as well as taking 2-25
Sussex’s Delray Rawlins had a great game, hitting 62 off 33 balls as well as taking 2-25

Sussex produced a stunning display at Canterbury to end unbeaten Kent’s run to go top of T20 Blast South Group.

Delray Rawlins followed up a fine 2-25 with the ball to make an unbeaten 62 as Sussex won with 26 balls to spare.

Sussex leapfrog Kent and Friday’s winners Surrey to lead the group by just one point with four games left.

Middlesex are two points further back, but Hampshire and T20 Blast holders Essex, who have lost four on the spin, are now looking hard pushed to qualify.

Rawlins reels Kent in at Canterbury

Kent’s struggle to post a decent score was caused by the Sussex spinners, Danny Briggs (3-27) and fellow slow left-armer Rawlins.

Having looked set at 90-2 in the 11th over, Kent’s total of 141-8 never looked enough.

After decent efforts from Daniel Bell-Drummond (29) and England’s new Test star Zak Crawley (16), they simply failed to get going again following the departure of another England man Joe Denly (32) and South African Heino Kuhn (22).

Sussex then stormed to 61-0 by the end of the powerplay, of which England T20 World Cup winner Luke Wright had hit 41. But the Sussex skipper had only added four more when he departed for 45 to the second ball of the 10th over, to follow opening partner Calum MacLeod back to the sheds.

But Rawlins then took over, putting on an unbroken 62 in 38 balls for the third wicket, of which global traveller Ravi Bopara – a T20 Blast winner with Essex this time last year – made only 14.

Hampshire collapse revives home hopes at Lord’s

Middlesex’s very similar 142-6 also did not look enough at Lord’s, but three catches, a stumping and a run-out put the skids under Hampshire as they lost their last seven wickets for just 40 to collapse to 123 all out.

Although spinner Mason Crane took 2-20, home wicketkeeper John Simpson smashed 30 off 19 balls to help the hosts get up to a defendable total.

But Hampshire, not for the first time in this campaign, then collapsed alarmingly from 83-3, just when Tom Alsop and James Fuller had steadied the ship after the loss of three early wickets and looked likely to lead their side.

Fuller holed out off Tim Murtagh for 34, Alsop followed eight balls later for 43, And to match Tom Helm, who had earlier removed James Vince and Sam Northeast in successive balls, Steven Finn (3-27) was then also on a hat-trick, when he got rid of Lewis McManus and Ian Holland.

And, for the third time in the Hampshire reply, Middlesex took wickets in successive balls to end it when Crane’s run-out was followed by a first-baller for Pakistan Test paceman Shaheen Afridi.

Coming next…

Sunday, 13 September (start times BST)

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13:00 – Worcestershire Rapids v Birmingham Bears – Worcester

14:00 – Glamorgan v Northants Steelbacks – Cardiff

14:00 – Somerset v Gloucestershire – Taunton

14:00 – Derbyshire Falcons v Notts Outlaws – Trent Bridge

14:00 – Durham v Leicestershire Foxes – Chester-le-Street



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