Sussex crash out of Friends Life t20 after early tumble of wickets

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Three early wickets cost Sussex dearly in their response to Lancashire’s total of 152 as they crashed out of the Friends Life t20 Cup at the quarter final stage at the PROBIZ County Ground tonight (Monday).

Sussex looked confident when going off the field after Lancashire’s innings, having restricted the visitors to 152-8. They had managed to bat through their allotted overs but found Monty Panesar in an economical mood (1-15 from his four overs).

Having won the toss and elected to bat first, Lancashire’s Karl Brown and Paul Horton, batting at Nos. 4 and 5 respectively, hit 44 and 49 not out to help their side post what would ultimately be a winning total.

But in Sussex’s reply, Lou Vincent fell for a first ball duck, Ed Joyce for seven and Ben Brown just two as Michael Yardy’s side sought in vain to book another trip to Finals Day at Edgbaston.

The top end of the Sharks batting order was heavily disrupted after their talismanic batsman, Murray Goodwin, sustained a hand injury fielding during the Lancashire innings, although he eventually emerged to bat at a lower number.

Chris Nash (31) and Yardy (24) had appeared to have steadied the situation, but Gary Keedy and Gareth Cross combined to remove both batsmen in quick succession, tilting the balance well and truly in the visitors’ favour.

Rana Naved (34) held his own in the lower order but some slow run scoring in the middle overs meant that surpassing Lancashire became increasingly unlikely. Sussex finally ended on 132-8 off their 20 overs, a full 20 runs shy of Lancashire’s total.

Lancashire now join Leicestershire, Somerset and Hampshire for the finals day, on Saturday, August 27, while Sussex now turn their attention back to the County Championship, but particularly the Clydesdale Bank 40 competition, in which they lead their group.

See this Friday’s Sussex Express for a longer report on this game.