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Rawlins and Sussex fall short in Blast final

Delray Rawlins's quest to become the first Bermudian cricketer to land a major title in England was dashed by Worcestershire Rapids, who beat Sussex Sharks by five wickets in the Vitality Blast T20 final at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Saturday.

Sussex appeared to have the upper hand the start of the eighteenth over, when Worcestershire required 31 runs for victory with the Sharks' two most effective death bowlers operating in tandem.

In keeping with their moniker, the Rapids got over the line in super-quick time, requiring only nine legal balls, with Chris Jordan going for 14 and then Joffra Archer enduring a nightmare of an over.

The Barbadian, who had conceded only 23 in his previous three overs, sent down a head-height full toss with his second ball, which eluded the wicketkeeper in racing to the boundary and counted for six runs.

The free hit was smashed for six through the leg side by Ben Cox, the Rapids wicketkeeper, who brought matters to a close with an emphatic hook for four.

Cox finished unbeaten on 46 from 27 balls to claim the man-of-the-match award, with captain Moeen Ali, back from England duty, making 41 at the top of the order.

A match that was too close to call for long periods after Sussex were restricted to 157 for six in their 20 overs was suddenly over, with Jordan, who had bowled so well at the death in the semi-final win over Somerset, as stunned as any of his team-mates.

Rawlins played his part in a final in front of 25,000 spectators with 21 from 16 balls.

The former St George's Cup Match player had hit two sixes off leg spinner Brett D'Oliveira, including a towering clout deep over the long-on boundary, before getting beaten in the flight by the wily Ali's off spin and holing out to long-off.

The 21-year-old, who continues to win plaudits for the audacity of his batting, scored 18 in the semi-final against Somerset, with a six and two fours.

Sussex won that match by 35 runs, largely off the back of a stunning innings of 92 by captain Luke Wright that carried his team to 202 for eight.

Worcestershire beat Lancashire Lightning by 20 runs in the first semi-final.

Final occasion: Delray Rawlins showed promise in each of his innings at Vitality Blast T20 Finals Day today (Photograph courtesy of Sussex CCC)

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Published September 17, 2018 at 9:00 am (Updated September 17, 2018 at 9:42 am)

Rawlins and Sussex fall short in Blast final

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