Royal London Cup: Sussex fall short in Cardiff

Luke Wright / Picture by Phil Westlake
Luke Wright / Picture by Phil Westlake

It’s two defeats from two for Sussex after Glamorgan made it successive victories in the Royal London One-Day Cup with a consummate 84-run victory in Cardiff.

Having scored 302 for 6, the Welsh county bowled and fielded with great accuracy to maintain their 100 per cent winning start to this season’s 50-over competition.

Glamorgan, having won the toss, chose to bat on a Sophia Gardens wicket that provided precious little assistance to the visiting bowlers, from start to finish.

That said, the host county took an age to establish themselves after Steve Magoffin claimed the wicket of David Lloyd (11) in the fifth over and captain Jacques Rudolph was forced to retire hurt, in the 12th over, after being struck a painful blow on the forearm. The South African was later taken to hospital for X-Rays.

Having come to terms with the pace of the wicket, Will Bragg (42) and Colin Ingram (13) added 68 for the third wicket and 19-year-old Aneurin Donald and wicket keeper batsman Chris Cooke 69 for the fourth. Donald, who came into the game with three 50s in his previous five innings, helped himself to another half century, off 55 balls.

However, it was the arrival, at the crease of 33-year-old Graham Wagg that changed the game in Glamorgan’s favour. Sussex, who dropped four catches, found themselves chasing the ball to all four corners of a sun-drenched SSE Swalec Stadium.

Cooke, who punished anything off line, passed 50 off 54 balls and played his part in a112-run stand for the fifth wicket.

The impressive all-rounder Wagg, struck seven fours and a six in reaching his half century, off just 37 balls, and was eventually fifth man out at 290, bowled by England seamer Chris Jordan. Cooke departed for 80, in the final over, leaving Glamorgan to defend a more than respectable total of 302 for 6.

In reply, Sussex lost Chris Nash for 12, run out by Dean Cosker, before Ed Joyce pulled a short delivery from Craig Meschede to Wagg, at deep square leg with the score on 64.

With the wicket becoming slower, but providing turn for the likes of Andrew Salter and Cosker, Sussex found runs hard to come by. However, as much as the slow bowlers applied the brakes, it was the medium pace of Meschede who picked up the key wicket of New Zealander Ross Taylor.

A short ball appeared to be heading back over the bowler’s head when Meschede stuck out a hand and took an outstanding catch.

Cosker weighed in with the wicket of Harry Finch (23), at 90 for 4, and from that juncture, the outcome was just about inevitable.

Luke Wright and Ben Brown (31) provided some resistance, with 68 for the fifth wicket, but when the latter pulled a short ball from Wagg to Ingram at mid-on, Glamorgan must have felt they were home and dry.

In the end, they were. Wright and Chris Jordan struck one or two lusty blows before the Sussex captain, who helped himself to six fours and two sixes in a 48-ball innings of 65, top edged Michael Hogan to mid on, where Ingram took a magnificent, tumbling, one-handed catch.

Donald took an equally spectacular catch to dismiss Jordan (22), before Hogan sent back George Garton, Ajmal Shahzad and Magoffin as Sussex were bowled out for 218 in the 43rd over.

Sussex captain Wright said; “Catches win matches and tonight we didn’t take ours and they did. That was the difference.

“Had we have taken those catches, they would not have built so many big partnerships and it would have been a different game.

“That’s frustrating although nobody does it on purpose.

“I was also frustrated with the fact that we didn’t chase as well as I thought we might. 300 was a good score, but I felt we could chase it down.

“However, we have to put that behind us now and move on.”

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