Sussex Overcome Yorkshire To Book Finals Day Place

Sussex won their place in the ECB Twenty20 Cup Finals Day with a 38-run victory over Yorkshire at Hove, successfully restricting Yorkshire to 155 having posted 193 for 5 themselves. Opener Chris Nash set the tone for a superb batting performance by the home side in front of a 7500 sell out crowd at Hove. He smashed Tim Bresnan for 16 in the first over of the match, the furthest Sussex have progressed in the tournament since its inception in 2003. Sussex took full advantage of the fielding restrictions to race to 54-0 at the end of the 6th over. Nash went for 24 off a brilliant catch on the boundary to bring in England new boy Luke Wright, who showed why the selectors picked him with a brisk 45 off just 27 balls. Murray Goodwin passed 50 and the two batsmen put on 71 for the second wicket. Mushtaq Ahmed finished off the job for Sussex with some inventive shots to finish on 20 not out from just 7 balls. Gough took the brunt of the damage; he was hit for 41 from his 3 overs. Fine bowling by young spinner David Wainwright, going for just 20 from his 4 overs and wickets for international stars Jacques Rudolph and Younus Khan prevented Sussex from reaching 200 for the second game in succession. Yorkshire’s innings started with the loss of Andrew Gale in the first over; Rana Naved-ul-Hasan dismissing the opener after being hit for 6 the previous ball. Craig White and Younus made useful additions to the innings with 47 and 40 respectively, but wickets fell too regularly for the visitors. Yorkshire, were still able, however, to keep up with Sussex’s score throughout the innings and went into the last 4 overs with the scores level. The last 6 wickets fell for 13 runs with the Yorkshire batsmen unable to reproduce the form Mushtaq Ahmed showed earlier in the day. Some poor drops in the field threatened to hinder Sussex’s progression into the last four. However, great bowling from the two Pakistan players Naved & Mushtaq ensured Sussex’s progression to the finals day at Edgbaston where they face local neighbours Kent in the first semi-final. © Richard Reardon Cricket World 2007
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