Match Report: Sussex Sharks v Essex Eagles


Sussex Sharks v Essex Eagles
Vitality Blast
Thursday 22 August
The Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford

Sussex Sharks Team: Phil Salt, Luke Wright (c), Laurie Evans, Alex Carey (wk), David Wiese, Harry Finch, Chris Jordan, Will Beer, Danny Briggs, Jason Behrendorff, Reece Topley

Essex Eagles Team: Cameron Delport, Tom Westley, Adam Wheater (wk), Dan Lawrence, Ryan ten Doeschate, Ravi Bopara, Paul Walter, Simon Harmer (c), Mohammad Amir, Aaron Beard, Adam Zampa

Umpires: Rob Bailey, Alex Wharf and Jeff Evans

Toss: Sussex Sharks won the toss and elected to bowl first

Result: Essex Eagles won by 9 runs

Match Highlights:

Match Report

THE Eagles kept their hopes of reaching the quarter-finals alive when they beat top of the table Sussex Sharks by 9 runs at Hove on Thursday night.

After Dan Lawrence had struck an unbeaten 59 out of the Essex total of 168 for five, Mohammad Amir produced his best T20 figures for the visitors returning 4 for 29 as the home side reached 159 for nine at the conclusion of their 20 overs.

The Eagles were given a boost with three wickets in the first four overs when Amir removed the dangerous Phil Salt and Luke Wright whilst Aaron Beard had Alex Carey caught at cover with none of the three batsmen toping six runs.

However, David Wiese and Laurie Evans retrieved a concerning situation for Sussex with a 65 runs stand in seven overs to put the Eagles under some pressure but with the score on 90 just after the half-way stage, Paul Walter had Evans caught by Simon Harmer for 35 and six runs later the fielder turned successful bowler when he trapped Harry Finch in the crease for a duck.

Chris Jordan joined Wiese as 34 runs were posted in less than four overs before the Eagles skipper had Wiese lbw for 66 to effectively leave Essex in the ascendancy with the Sharks now 130 for six in the 16th over

Amir conceded 13 off the next over but after Adam Zampa picked up the wicket of Will Beer, the Pakistani paceman had Chris Jordan caught by Ravi Bopara at deep mid-wicket and in the same over bowled Jason Behrendorff.

Beard sent down he last over but Sussex were only able to score 8 of the 18 runs they required for victory to leave the Eagles with their third victory of the season in the competition.

The Sharks had won the toss and put their opponents into bat. Both opening bowlers, Behrendorff and Reece Topley saw Tom Westley cover drive their first deliveries to the boundary through the off side while the last ball of Topley’s opening over also raced to the boundary off Westley’s bat.

Westley also helped himself to a couple of fours in Behrendorff’s second over, the third of the innings but then, having scored 9 of the 28 runs on the board by the fourth over, Cameron Delport pulled a ball from former Essex paceman Topley into the hands of Salt at mid-wicket.

The powerplay was completed with the Eagles 43 for 2 having lost Adam Wheater who was run out for 6 and then Westley, having included 6 fours in posting 34 out of 52 in 8 overs drove to Behrendorff in the deep to become the third wicket to fall.

By the halfway stage of their innings, the Eagles were 68 for 3 and struggling to force the tempo against some shrewd Sharks bowling. However, Lawrence pressed the accelerator pedal striking straight sixes from successive deliveries by slow left-armer Danny Briggs that helped carry the total onto 84 before the departure of Ryan ten Doeschate, caught at mid-wicket for 9.

Bopara joined Lawrence and the pair almost doubled the score with a fifth-wicket partnership worth 82 in 8 overs.
Lawrence drove successive straight sixes when facing Wiese in an over that yielded 17 runs for the Eagles and another 13 runs emanated from over 16 during which Lawrence arrived at his third half-century in seven Twenty 20 innings this summer. He had faced 29 balls with six boundaries, four of which were maximum blows.

With four overs remaining, Essex were 130 for 4 and it was Bopara who added the impetus in the final stages clubbing sixes when facing Jordan and Topley whilst also collecting a couple of neatly steered fours down to the vacant third man area.

He was finally out for 45 when caught by Jordan in the deep off Topley of the penultimate ball of the innings but the fine partnership between him and the impressive Lawrence was to prove so significant in the final outcome.