Sussex keep hopes alive with T20 triumph over Gloucestershire at Bristol

Posted On 16 Aug 2018 at 10:02 pm

Sussex boosted their hopes of a quarter-final place with a four-wicket Vitality Blast south group win over Gloucestershire at Bristol.

The home side posted 159 for nine after winning the toss. Skipper Michael Klinger top-scored with 59.

Spinner Rashid Khan claimed three for 24, while there were two wickets each for seamers Jofra Archer and Chris Jordan.

In reply, Sussex were given a great start by opener Phil Salt, who contributed 60 to a stand of 85 in nine overs with Harry Finch (33) and, despite two wickets with successive balls from both debutant spinner Jacob Lintott and Benny Howell, never looked in serious trouble.

They reached their target with an over to spare, David Wiese making 39, and can clinch a top four finish by beating Middlesex at Hove tomorrow (Friday 17 August) when Gloucestershire’s bid for a home quarter-final sees them face Hampshire at Southampton.

Gloucestershire’s tame innings featured only two sixes, one struck by Kieran Noema-Barnett in the 14th over and the other by Klinger in the 18th.

Even the prolific Aussie found it hard to break loose, taking 45 balls to reach his half-century, despite an opening stand of 41 in 4.3 overs with Miles Hammond, who hit 6 fours before being stumped for 29 off a Khan leg-side wide.

Ian Cockbain and Benny Howell fell cheaply and, although Noema-Barnett (25) helped Klinger add 56 for the fourth wicket, when he was bowled swinging at a delivery from Khan, it was 128 for four with only 3.2 overs remaining.

Klinger’s 50-ball innings ended when he was caught at wide long-on off Jordan and when three wickets, including a run-out, fell in the final over Gloucestershire looked short of a par score.

That appeared even more certain when Sussex openers Salt and Harry Finch plundered 60 off the six power play overs, Salt hitting 6 fours and a six in moving to 41.

There was no let-up as Salt moved to 50 off 27 balls and celebrated with his second six, sweetly struck over deep-square off Howell.

He fell in the same over, caught at wide long-on, but by then Sussex had 85 on the board and were well on course for victory.

It was then that Gloucestershire introduced 25-year-old left-arm spinner Lintott, who struck with the fifth and sixth balls of his debut when Laurie Evans fell to a catch by Klinger at extra cover for a single and Delray Rawlins was bowled.

Taunton-born Lintott, whose only previous county appearance came for Hampshire in a T20 game against Somerset last season, conceded only eight from his first two overs and finished with two for 26.

Howell (three for 37) removed Wiese and Finch with consecutive deliveries in the 16th over, but only after Wiese had hit him for four and six to cement the Sussex position.

Only 15 were needed off the last three overs and although Gareth Roderick produced a stunning diving catch down the leg side to dismiss Archer, Sussex got home comfortably.

Sussex all-rounder David Wiese said: “It’s a massive result for us. We knew it was last chance saloon against a very good Gloucestershire side and we had to get the win.

“T20 cricket is all about momentum and now we have the chance to build some at the end of the group stage. We had to win our last three games and now we have one left.

“I was disappointed to be left out of the last match but we have a very strong squad and good players are sometimes going to miss out.

“One or two of my performances before this were disappointing so I am delighted to be back on the field and contributing to the team.”

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