Delray Rawlins and Sussex collapse to agonising defeat
Delray Rawlins and his Sussex Sharks team-mates suffered an agonising four-run defeat against Gloucestershire in their Vitality Blast South group contest at 1st Central County ground yesterday.
Bermuda all-rounder Rawlins returned economical figures of one for 13 from his allotted four overs as the visitors were restricted to 145 for six after being sent in to bat.
The home side were on course at 113 for two in reply before suffering a massive slide which saw their remaining wickets tumble for 23 runs in six overs and condemned them to a third successive defeat in the competition.
Batting at No 5, Rawlins scored five runs off six balls before skying a return catch to left-arm seamer David Payne at the start of the eighteenth over as Sussex slipped to 132 for eight.
However, they were still in with a shout with two wickets in hand but ultimately came up short as Payne and fellow seamer Zak Chappell mopped up the tail in quick succession.
Sussex captain Ravi Bopara was brutal in his assessment. “I have played more than 400 games in T20 cricket and seen a lot of things, so nothing really surprises me, but I thought that was one of the worst performances I have ever seen,.
“I’m not sure what happened, I can't get my head round it. Moments like that can break teams, but I won’t let that happen. We’ve still got half the tournament to play and it’s important that we’re back on it for those remaining six games.”
Top-order bat Tom Alsop was Sussex’s top scorer with a 82 from 52 balls that included five sixes and eight fours.
All-rounder Fynn Hudson-Prentice (18) and Bopara (10) were the remaining batsmen in double figures for the home side.
Payne, the former England Under-19 player, claimed three for 17 and Chappelle three for 19 to lead the Gloucestershire attack.
Earlier, the visitors got off to a poor start after being reduced to 44 for four in the ninth over as Sussex made early inroads with the new ball during the first powerplay.
However, a 98-run sixth-wicket stand between New Zealand batsman Glenn Phillips and Jack Taylor, the Gloucestershire captain, halted the slide and laid the foundation for a total that ultimately proved beyond Sussex’s reach.
Phillips led the recovery with 66 from 53 balls, lashing two sixes and eight fours along the way.
Taylor also held his end of the deal as he stroked 46 from 31 balls that included six fours and a six.
Left-arm seamer Obed McCoy, who has made a combined 15 appearances for West Indies in the limited-overs format, was Sussex’s most successful bowler with two for 36.
Sussex, who next face Essex on June 17, are sixth in the nine-team South group on six points. The top four teams from the South and North groups will advance to the quarter-finals.