Sussex 230-4 (Styris 100no, Prior 60) beat
Gloucestershire 191-8 by 39 runs
2nd FLt20 Quarter-Final
A breathtaking innings from Scott Styris earnt Sussex a place at next month’s Friends Life t20 Finals Day. The former New Zealand all-rounder hit 100 off only 37 balls; including hitting 38 off the 18th over which was bowled by the hapless James Fuller.
The match had actually begun very well for Gloucestershire as they won the toss and dismissed both Sussex openers for just one apiece. However, Matt Prior decided that the best form of defence was attack and was at his typical fluent best during his knock of 60 from 38 balls. Following his England team-mates Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara’s struggles earlier in the day, Prior dominated a 98-run third-wicket stand with Murray Goodwin. Each of the last four overs of the powerplay went for 15, with Prior being particularly severe on 20 year-old Liam Norwell’s brisk medium-pace, taking him for 30 from two overs.
He was, however, needlessly run-out by Ed Young with a century seemingly there for the taking and Gloucestershire began to get the run rate back under some sort of control thanks to their spinners. Muttiah Muralitharan and Ed Young returned figures of none for 51 from eight overs as Goodwin ticked the strike over and Styris found his feet.
When the spinners finished, Styris went on the attack. He helped plunder Ian Saxelby’s comeback over for 16, before tucking into the next from James Fuller with relish. The first ball was a shoulder-high full toss which beat Styris and wicket-keeper James Foster and ran away to the boundary, while the second was a front foot no-ball which Styris clubbed for four. That meant that 12 runs had already come from the over and a legal delivery was still yet to be bowled, and when the free hit and the following ball went for six, the crowd began to sense that they might be about to witness something special. The last four balls yielded a comparatively modest 14 runs but the damage was done and 38 had come from the over.
Styris hadn’t finished the carnage yet. The last two overs of the innings went for 14 and 19 runs respectively and a Sussex total that had looked likely to be around 180 had soared to 230 for four after the 20 overs. Goodwin was out off the final ball for a relatively demure, albeit still immensely valuable, 55 from 42 balls and had shared a fourth-wicket partnership of 129 off just 52 balls with Styris, of which he had scored just 19.
Gloucestershire’s innings began slowly, as they took the first four overs for just 18 runs, but they made a pretty good fist of an impossible situation. Dan Housego delighted with a couple of sumptuous shots lofted over extra cover and added 63 for the second wicket with his captain, Hamish Marshall, who made 42 off 29 balls. Housego eventually fell for 47 from 24 balls, but Alex Gidman took over and stroked 44 off 22, while James Fuller partially atoned for his earlier horrors and blazed 26 from only 12 deliveries.
All of which meant that they closed on 191 for eight, in any other circumstances an excellent score, but one which, on this occasion, was 39 runs short of Sussex’s superhuman effort.
© Cricket World 2012
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