Sharks host Steelbacks for a place at NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day

Sussex Sharks will be bidding to reach NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day for the fourth time tomorrow when they entertain Northamptonshire Steelbacks, in their home quarter-final at The County Ground (6.30pm start).

Mahela Jayawardena hitting Tom Smith for six. Picture by Mark Dunford SUS-150519-082857001
Mahela Jayawardena hitting Tom Smith for six. Picture by Mark Dunford SUS-150519-082857001

Sussex finished runners-up in the South Group table will face a Northants side who were third in the standings in the North Group. It will only be the second time that two teams have met in T20 cricket, with the Sharks winning by seven wickets in the previous encounter, in the semi-finals of 2009.

Skipper Luke Wright is Sussex’s leading run-scorer in the competition and has hit 29 sixes so far in his tally of 564 runs. Tymal Mills is the Sharks’ leading wicket-taker with 18 scalps.

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Sussex can welcome back Sri Lankan legend Mahela Jayawardena to the squad. He played for the Sharks in the opening seven games of the tournament, scoring 223 runs and returns for this game as a second overseas player alongside Australia’s George Bailey.

Chris Jordan also returns to the squad following a lengthy lay-off through injury but Jimmy Anyon, Lewis Hatchett and Ajmal Shahzad are all still sidelined.

It’ll be Sussex’s fifth T20 home quarter-final in the last nine years, and the first since the Sharks’ victory over Gloucestershire in 2012 when Scott Styris struck a magical 37-ball century.

The Sussex squad is as follows:

GJ Bailey

WAT Beer

C Cachopa (wk)

CJ Liddle

DPMD Jayawardena

CJ Jordan

MW Machan

TS Mills

CD Nash

SA Piolet

OE Robinson

LJ Wright (c)

MH Yardy

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