Rawlins continues strong form in Vitality Blast
Delray Rawlins continued his steady form with the bat of late to help Sussex Sharks clinch their place in the Vitality Blast quarter-finals via a four-wicket win over South Group winners Kent Spitfires at Canterbury yesterday.
The Bermudian all-rounder stroked a breezy 33 from 19 balls, which included three fours and a six, batting at No 4.
He also featured in a 50-run fourth-wicket partnership with David Wiese as the visitors reached their target of 135 with 2.5 overs to spare to advance to the last eight of the Twenty20 competition for the fourth consecutive year.
Rawlins was Sussex’s second highest scorer behind Luke Wright, the captain, who scored 39 from 29 balls with four fours and a six.
His partnership with Wiese was also the second highest of his team’s innings as Wright and Ravi Bopara added 61 for the second wicket after losing opener and wicketkeeper-batsman Phil Salt (0) on the third delivery of the innings.
Wiese (21) and Bopara (19) were the remaining Sussex batsman in double figures.
Seamer Harry Podmore led the Kent attack with three for 25 while all-rounder Marcus O'Riordan claimed two for 24.
The hosts struggled to pick the gaps after winning the toss and electing to take first strike against a disciplined and stingy Sussex attack that only sent down one wide.
Apart from opening bowler Ollie Robinson, who went for 23 in his only two overs, the remaining Sussex bowlers bowled economically to keep the Kent batsman under wraps.
Kent were restricted to 48 for two at the end of the mandatory power play.
Calum Macleod (31) and Harry Finch (30) added 44-runs for the fourth-wicket to accelerate the run rate.
However, once the pair were removed in the space of seven deliveries the Sussex bowlers tightened the screws to stem the flow of runs.
Fourth -change Bopara was the pick of the Sussex attack with three for 15 while Wiese took two for 16 respectively.
Rawlins and his team-mates will now face Yorkshire in the Vitality Blast quarter-final at Emirates Riverside, Durham on August 24.