Delray Rawlins’ Sussex bowled over as Simon Harmer guides Essex to quarter-finals
A magnificently miserly bowling stint from the Essex Eagles captain Simon Harmer led his side to victory by 28 runs over Delray Rawlins’s Sussex Sharks to qualify for a place in the quarter-finals of the Vitality Blast.
Harmer conceded just 18 runs from his four overs and also picked up the wickets of Ali Orr, Tom Alsop and George Garton.
Chasing a challenging 198 for victory, Sussex were 54 without loss after four overs, with Orr flying on 36. Josh Philippe was caught behind for 17 in the fifth over but after seven Sussex were better than on target, at 81 for one.
But then Orr’s innings came to an end after he was caught by Harmer at mid-wicket. His 41 had come off just 21 balls, including five fours and two sixes.
Sussex were ahead of the game at the halfway stage, at 101 for two after ten overs. However, despite solid knocks of 31 from Harrison Ward and 47 from captain Ravi Bopara, the hosts were unable to chase down the total.
Earlier, Adam Rossington’s 50-ball 95 was the standout performance in the Essex total of 197 for eight. Essex were 68 without loss in the seventh over before Sussex battled back by taking three wickets in the space of ten deliveries.
Rawlins bowled Robin Das, while Michael Pepper was brilliantly caught by Orr and Dan Lawrence was bowled by Bopara.
Rossington eventually fell on 95 but Tom Westley (54), ensured his side reached a challenging total.
Rashid Khan was once again the best Sussex bowler with three wickets for 30 runs while Bopara (2-30) and Rawlins (2-34) also bowled well.