Delray Rawlins takes key wicket in exciting Vitality Blast victory over Somerset
Good captaincy by Sussex’s Ravi Bopara led to them sealing an exciting 47-run victory over Somerset in the Vitality Blast at Taunton yesterday.
Posting 216 for seven in their 20 overs after being sent in by Somerset, Sussex found themselves facing a close finish as the home side were well in search of the winning target at 150 for four with five overs remaining. They were comfortably scoring at ten runs an over early in their innings.
Luckily for Sussex, all seven of their bowlers still had overs remaining, including Delray Rawlins and opener George Garton, who gave up 13 runs each in their two overs, with the Bermuda all-rounder claiming the prized wicket of top scorer Rilee Rossouw. The South African left-hander scored 74 from 29 balls to keep the run chase exciting.
Rossouw had 40 runs on the board off his first 15 balls faced, hitting two fours and four sixes as he punished the Sussex bowlers. His fifty came up in 17 balls, including three fours and five sixes.
In total, Rossouw hit eight fours and five sixes to accelerate Somerset’s scoring after coming in at No 3 when Rawlins caught opener Will Smeed in the second over.
But the game changed when Rawlins had him caught at 45 by Tymal Mills running to his left to reel in the paddle sweep to make it 93 for three in the ninth over.
Rawlins, the seventh bowler used, was taken out of the attack with six overs remaining and saved for the final overs.
Bopara turned to opener and first-change bowlers Obed McCoy and Mills. And the move paid off with the pair claiming the last six wickets between them to seal a comfortable win in the end.
McCoy removed Tom Lammonby (30) and Lewis Gregory in successive balls in the sixteenth over to reduce Somerset to 152 for six. Mills did the same in the next over with two wickets in two balls — with the wickets of Roelof van der Merwe and Marchant de Lange. It was 152 for eight and Somerset were gone.
McCoy claimed the ninth wicket of Ben Green in the eighteenth over and eighth balls later Mills wrapped up the win when Bopara took a second late catch to dismiss last man Lewis Goldsworthy.
McCoy, on his debut, finished with five for 33 from four overs and Mills four for 32 from 3.5 overs. Rawlins got the other wicket for 13 runs.
Sussex were led in their total of 216 for seven by wicketkeeper Josh Philippe’s 70 from 43 balls. The opener hit three fours and five sixes in 66 minutes at the crease, adding 54 for the second wicket with Tom Alsop (30) after opener Luke Wright departed with just ten runs on the board in the second over.
Sussex kept the runs coming as Bopara joined Philippe to add 85 for the third wicket in just nine overs to take the score to 149 when the captain was out for 48. He hit five fours off 34 balls.
Bopara’s departure brought in Rawlins on the penultimate ball of the fifth over, the Bermudian not affording himself the luxury of settling in, as he smashed a boundary off his first ball faced to bring up 150.
In the next over he hit De Lange for a six as Sussex set themselves a target of at least 200. Rawlins was out soon after, caught by Lammonby off De Lange for 14 on the last ball of the seventeenth over. He faced seven balls and hit a six and a four.
The 200 did come up thanks to a dashing 23 not out from Harrison Ward who hit De Lange for a 6-6-4-6 in the last four balls of the final over to take Sussex to their winning total.
It was a econd straight victory in the T20 Blast after two opening losses while the defeat was the first for Somerset who had won their first three matches.
Sussex play their next Vitality Blast match tomorrow at home to Middlesex.