Delray Rawlins shines with bat and ball as Sussex keep slim Vitality Blast hopes alive
Delray Rawlins led Sussex to an exciting 17-run victory over Surrey in a must-win Vitality Blast match at the 1st Central County Ground yesterday, scoring 34 not out and then taking two crucial wickets in a man-of-the-match performance as Surrey crashed to their first loss of the season in all cricket.
Sussex, with five losses in a row going into the match, looked headed for another defeat as Surrey were cruising at 123 for four in the thirteenth over after restricting Sussex to 172 for five in their 20 overs.
However, Rawlins claimed two important wickets in successive overs to swing the match back in Sussex’s favour. The left-arm spinner had Rory Burns stumped by wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan in the thirteenth and then in his next over had danger man Will Jacks caught behind by Rizwan for a top score of 76 after trying to guide a quicker ball through the off side.
Rawlins, the sixth bowler used, finished with two for 36 from four overs while Tymal Mills claimed two for 22 off 3.2 overs.
The innings by Jacks came off 48 balls and included 11 fours and a six. That dismissal made it 139 for six, Surrey still needing 34 for victory with 5.1 overs remaining.
Sussex kept on the pressure, taking the last four wickets for 16 runs as they claimed victory with ten balls remaining in the Surrey innings. Daniel Moriarty was the last wicket to fall, run out by captain Ravi Bopara’s throw.
Captain Chris Jordan, their last recognised batsman and a Sussex player last season, was earlier also run out by Bopara’s throw from the covers after setting off for a quick single and being sent back.
Sussex’s fourth win out of 11 matches was much needed, although they still need to win their three remaining games to have any chance of reaching the knockout stages of the competition.
Wicketkeeper Rizwan had a good stint behind the stumps, taking three catches and a stumping as Sussex defended their total.
Rawlins was outstanding in the batting, too, hitting three sixes and three fours in his 34 not out, which came off 17 balls as he and George Garton (24 not out) put on 60 for the sixth wicket in just 4.3 overs. Garton hit three sixes and a four after joining Rawlins at 112 for five.
Opener Rizwan led the batting with 48 before being run out at the end of the eleventh over with the score 92 for three after Sussex lost two wickets in three balls.
Ali Orr, batting at No 3, scored 30 before Rawlins and Garton, the Nos 6 and 7 batsmen, kept the runs flowing with some big hitting in the last few overs.
Sussex remain eighth in the nine-team South group, with only the top four qualifying for the quarter-finals. They are five points behind fourth-placed Essex and are next in action today away to Kent, the 2021 champions, who are bottom of the group and already eliminated.