Vince shines as Hampshire Hawks beat Sussex Sharks by five wickets

Posted On 03 Jul 2022 at 11:49 pm

The Hampshire Hawks inflicted a bitter final blow to the Sussex Sharks as they beat them by five wickets in the Vitality T20 Blast at the County Ground in Hove tonight (Sunday 3 July).

The Hawks won the toss and chose to field and were rewarded early. Sussex started slowly, losing both openers in the first three overs, before Harrison Ward and Tom Haines steadied the ship for the home side.

The run rate needed some picking up, however, and after Haines was dismissed for 27 in the eighth over with the score at just 56, there was a feeling of deja vu in the crowd.

Sussex have struggled with consistency in their batting this season and the Hampshire bowlers exposed the shaky top order once again, restricting the hosts severely in the first 10 overs.

Ravi Bopara needed a captain’s knock to salvage some pride for his team towards the end of a tough campaign and his partnership with Delray Rawlins helped ensure a respectable total.

George Garton was the star of the Sussex innings, though, with a quickfire 37 off just 17 balls that brought the crowd back to life.

And a cameo of 25 runs from 12 balls from Rashid Khan allowed the Sharks to end their innings with an impressive 180-6.

It was quite the recovery for the home team but defending a seemingly imposing total of 180 was still going to be hard on a batting pitch at Hove, especially with the in-form James Vince opening for the Hampshire Hawks.

Vince justified his impressive average of over 50 in this season’s Blast, smashing the ball all around the park in the powerplay overs and frustrating the Sussex bowlers.

Supported by fellow opener Ben McDermott, Vince appeared to be taking the game away from the home team, before the Sharks made a breakthrough in the ninth over.

McDermott departed for 30 but, with the score at 86-1, the away side looked on course for victory.

Vince notched up yet another half century and was eventually dismissed for 60 by Rawlins, caught by wicketkeeper Josh Philippe while attempting another big hit.

After the match, Philippe told Brighton and Hove News: “The difference in the game was probably our first six overs in the match versus theirs.

“They got off to a flier with the bat and we didn’t. I thought we caught it back really well with the ball and were in the game with two overs to go but the game can get done within an over.”

The Hawks’ onslaught appeared to slow after Vince left the crease, with Bopara and Khan spearheading a comeback of sorts and reigniting a flicker of hope in the hearts of the Sussex faithful.

But that hope was short lived as Ross Whiteley and James Fuller steered the Hampshire innings, with a solid partnership that allowed the duo to finish the game with just less than an over to spare. The Hawks won with 181-5.

The defeat means that the Sharks end their season on a disappointing note, having now lost eight of their last nine matches in the 2022 Vitality T20 Blast.

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