Rawlins helps blast Sussex into last four
Delray Rawlins was hailed as a “little superstar” after sparking Sussex Sharks to the Vitality Blast finals day, after they defeated Durham Jets in the quarter-finals of the English Twenty20 competition yesterday.
After two first-ball dismissals in Sussex’s previous two matches in the competition, Rawlins responded in a big way with a 29-ball knock of 42 to help Sussex to win by five wickets at Emirates Riverside, Chester-le-Street, yesterday.
The 20-year-old left-hander, who came in at No 4, hit seven fours during 34 minutes at the crease when he shared in a third-wicket stand of 70 with Laurie Evans in eight overs that set up Sussex’s win. Chasing Durham’s 140 for seven, Sussex replied with 144 for five with ten balls remaining.
“We’ve got a little superstar in Delray Rawlins,” Luke Wright, the Sussex captain, said. “We’ve known how good he can be. He likes the TV cameras as well, but some of the shots he played were breathtaking. We’re really excited about him. I think he has a very exciting future to come.”
Rawlins came to the crease on the last ball of the fourth over at 28 for two and played some delightful shots before he departed at 98 for three when he gave an easy return catch to bowler Mark Wood from a chin-high short ball that cramped him for room. However, he showed enough during his innings to impress the commentators.
Kate Cross, the England women’s bowler who was summarising on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, said: “Hats off to Rawlins as well and how he batted — he can take a lot of momentum into finals day.”
Finals day will be at Edgbaston on September 15, with Sussex and Lancashire Lightning already through. The final two teams will be decided this weekend when Worcestershire Rapids take on Gloucestershire today and Notts Outlaws, the defending champions, meet Somerset tomorrow.
Evans made sure Sussex got over the finish line yesterday, scoring the winning boundary to finish with 63 from 47 balls, with seven fours.
Earlier, Rawlins held a catch to break up the opening stand of 47 in just 3.3 overs between Graham Clark and England all-rounder Ben Stokes when he caught Clark off Chris Jordan.
Stokes, who was doubtful with a knee injury, went on to lead the Durham batting with 34 before he was next out on 66 for two, while Stuart Poynter scored 28 not out.
Danny Briggs and Will Beer took two wickets apiece for Sussex from their nine overs, going for 19 and 17 runs respectively.
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