Sussex beat Hampshire in the Vitality Blast

Cricket
Luke Wright
Luke Wright

Luke Wright scored his second fifty in a week to keep up Sussex's 100 per cent win record in the Vitality Blast as they thrashed Hampshire by eight wickets.

Opener Wright never looked in any trouble, and refused to give his opponents a sniff, as he struck 68 off 53 balls as he put on 96 with Laurie Evans, who also scored a brilliant half century.

Having already beaten Essex and Glamorgan in the opening two rounds, Sussex looked confident chasing 158.

Phil Salt and Wright attacked the task with a mixture of quick running and timely boundaries.

Salt was deceived by a brilliantly disguised slower ball from Gareth Berg but the let up did not come for the home bowlers, with 53 scored off the powerplay.

Wright, on the back of an 88 against Glamorgan, arrowed a pair of impeccable cover drives off Kyle Abbott, although was involved in a controversial moment when Mujeeb Ur Raham thought he had bowled him but after a long delay was given a reprieve.

The former England international reached his 35th format fifty off 40-balls, before he found Chris Wood on the long-on boundary.

Evans, who collected a classy 55 not out, guided Sussex home with 10 balls to spare to leave Hampshire winless from their opening two Vitality Blast fixtures.

Earlier, Hampshire were stuck in by Sussex skipper Wright on a wicket that never really came onto the batsmen.

James Vince promoted himself back up to open, alongside Colin Munro, and took the attack to the Sussex bowlers - drilling Jofra Archer and David Wiese for three clean fours in each of their opening two overs.

The Hampshire captain played one shot too many in his 16-ball 30, when his aggressive drive swirled high to cover.

Munro attempted to keep the high run-rate going as he slapped a straight drive for six, to take the hosts to 59 for one at the end of the powerplay.

But the runs and boundaries dried up, with 15 balls without the ball reaching the ropes, as Sam Northeast joined Munro.

The former Kent batsman grew in confidence by taking Wiese for three successive fours but like Vince overhit one extra ball - as he found Archer at long off off Danny Briggs' bowling.

Rilee Rossouw smashed a six down the ground but was caught on the midwicket boundary attempting a slog sweep next ball.

Briggs then claimed his third scalp, Munro caught at long off for a scrappy 30, as he ended with figures of three for 29, spoiled somewhat by a six and four from his final over.

The back end of the Hampshire innings proved a battle against an experienced and wily Sussex attack with only 38 coming from the last five overs - despite Tom Alsop's battling unbeaten 35.

The main menace was Archer, who ended with figures of three for 26, with a yorker bowling Berg and a square leg catch getting rid of Lewis McManus.



Aaron Finch, Ben Foakes and Rikki Clarke led a Surrey run-glut at a packed Oval as the home side saw off Essex by 39 runs to record their first Vitality Blast South Group win at the third attempt.

Finch smashed 58 off 33 deliveries, Foakes hammered 56 and Clarke smacked a 20-ball 48 to lift Surrey to 222 for four, just two runs short of their record Twenty20 total, made against Gloucestershire at Bristol 12 years ago.

Only Varun Chopra with 67 off 46 balls threatened for long as Essex were held to 183 for seven in reply.

Essex's chase floundered when Tom Westley (23) and Ravi Bopara both fell to Gareth Batty's off-spin in the 12th over.

And that followed a superb 11th over by Clarke, in which Essex could also manage only three and, suddenly, from 100 for one off 10, they were 106 for three off 12 - with a required run-rate soaring to 15 - and never recovered.

Ryan ten Doeschate, after hoisting Batty for six, edged his next ball to wicketkeeper Foakes to go for 10 and the 40-year old former Surrey captain finished with figures of three for 36 from four overs.

By the time opener Chopra was run-out attempting a second run in the 17th over, having hit two sixes and five fours, Surrey were all-but assured of victory.

Finch, the world's number-one ranked T20 batsman, thumped four sixes and five fours on his return to Surrey from international duty and, although his fellow Australian Nic Maddinson could not mark his debut with a score of note, there was still more than enough spectacular strokeplay to entertain another near-25,000 capacity floodlit crowd.

Foakes contributed 56 from 35 balls, with two sixes and five fours, and added 86 in 7.4 overs for the third wicket with Finch.

But the most explosive knocks came from Clarke and Ollie Pope, who came together when Foakes fell at 154 for four in the 16th over, and took 25 runs from a ragged nine-ball 18th over, bowled by Matt Coles, that featured two no-balls, a wide and two sixes.

Clarke thumped four leg-side maximums in his brutal innings, while Pope's unbeaten 31 from 20 balls featured four fours, two of them extraordinary reverse flicks to third man off Sam Cook at the start of the final over.

Surrey were out of the blocks quickly, after they had chosen to bat first, with Finch and Rory Burns taking 28 from the two opening overs.

Coles, brought on for the third over, struck immediately when Burns pulled his first ball straight to deep midwicket, slowing Surrey for a short while, and Maddinson had made only three when the left-hander was tucked up by Jamie Porter and could only mishit an attempted lofted drive to mid-off.

But Coles was hit twice for six by Finch in his second over and the final powerplay over, the sixth of the innings, cost Porter 20 runs as Foakes clubbed a six and three fours - the first a beautiful, authentic off drive just past the bowler's left hand - to take Surrey to 67 for two.

Finch, dropped off Porter on 16 after a juggle by Coles at deep square-leg, continued to take the attack to the Essex bowlers and there was a fourth six, muscled over long-off against Simon Harmer's off-breaks, before he skied Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa to be caught and bowled in the 12th over.

Zampa was by far the pick of Essex's bowlers, conceding just 20 runs from his four overs and also adding Foakes' wicket when he smeared a catch into the deep.

A ferocious late onslaught saw Clarke and Pope take 68 from a mere 4.4 overs.

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