In-form Hampshire prove too strong for Rawlins and Sussex
Delray Rawlins scored 29 runs and took a wicket but could not prevent Sussex falling to a five-wicket defeat against Hampshire in the Vitality Blast yesterday.
In what was a dead rubber of a match, as Hampshire had already qualified for the quarter-finals and Sussex already out of the competition, the visitors maintained their strong form ahead of the next phase with a ninth victory in ten.
Sussex were put into bat by Hampshire and unusually, took a while to get going. It was the Sharks’ middle order that put runs on the board, with the best contributions coming from Ravi Bopara, George Garton and Rawlins.
Sussex red ball captain Tom Haines, playing his first T20 game of the season, and Harrison Ward, took 21 off the sixth over, before the latter was caught at long on from the bowling of Tom Prest, and Haines was stumped by McDermott.
Rawlins swatted two sixes in a 22-ball 29 and Bopara made 35 off 25.
The most entertaining batting came at the end.
Garton top-scored with 37 off just 17 deliveries, with three fours and three sixes, one a vast one over long-on, while Rashid Khan scored a typically unorthodox 25 off a dozen balls.
Those contributions took Sussex to 180-8, in what looked like an encouraging total against a strong side.
In response, Hampshire looked on course for a more comfortable victory when their prolific captain James Vince and Ben McDermott put on 86 for the first wicket, striking at ten runs an over.
But Hampshire’s batting faltered after Vince skied Rawlins to the keeper for a 42-ball 65.
After the power play some tight bowling from Khan and Bopara as well as a flurry of middle-order wickets, left them needing 43 off the final five overs and then 39 off the last three.
In the end, Sussex were unable to take the wickets needed to get over the line.