Glamorgan beat Sussex by 2 wickets in Royal London One Day thriller

County Ground Hove
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Billy Root 78 for Glamorgan in their win over Sussex
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Will Beer 1-49 for Sussex
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Sussex  347-7, Glamorgan 348-8.

Sussex, chasing a quarter-final place in the Royal London One-Day Cup, were beaten by Glamorgan by two wickets in a run-soaked fixture at Hove.

The odds were against Glamorgan when they set off in pursuit of a vast 348 but an eye-catching innings from Billy Root (78) and finally an unbeaten 52  off 35 balls from Dan Douthwaite, who won player of the match, saw Glamorgan home with just eight balls to spare.

But before the end of a fascinating match Sussex had had their hopes of making the last eight dashed,  because Gloucestershire and Somerset had already won their fixtures.

It was still a very impressive chase by Glamorgan.  They lost David Lloyd, caught on the square-leg boundary by Stiaan van Zyl in the sixth over.  Jeremy Lawlor scored a sprightly 48 at a run-a-ball before he was dismissed by Abi Sakande and Chris Cook was third out at 117, bowled by a ripper of a leg-break from Will Beer for 41.

But Glamorgan continued to keep in touch with the heady required run-rate. Their hopes were dealt another blow in the 31st over when the powerful Marnus Labuschagne, hitting across the line, was lbw to Danny Briggs for 54.  And Briggs struck again four overs later when he had Charlie Hemphrey caught off a lofted off-drive to make it 210 for five in the 35th.

But Root maintained the chase, with an impressive 66-ball knock, before he was run out by Danny Briggs’ fine throw from the deep before Douthwaite took charge.

Sussex, knowing they had to win the match, piled up their best score in the competition this season, even though the ball moved around in the opening overs.

Phil Salt, dropped before he had scored, didn’t make the most of his good fortune, but still hit four fours in a 21-ball 25 to give the Sussex innings some early momentum.  Opening partner Luke Wright took a few deliveries to play himself in, and was missed on ten when he edged Merchant de Lange between the wicketkeeper and slip for four. But then he opened his wide shoulders to build the platform for the big score.  He hit 97 from 103 balls, with 13 fours and a pulled six, struck against the scoreboard on the east side of the ground.

When he was fourth out at 203 in the 35th over Sussex looked likely to fall short of their high ambitions.  But they pounded 141 from the final 15 overs. Laurie Evans, mixing power with clever placement, was even more fluent than Wright. He hit the expensive Graham Wagg for 19 in one over, with three fours and a six sliced over point, and his century came from only 81 balls

He was out soon afterwards but by then the prolific David Wiese had established himself.  Wiese came into the match having struck 388 in six innings in the competition.  And here he thumped a 38-ball 57 to ensure there would be no respite for the Glamorgan bowlers.  But it would not be enough.

Glamorgan captain Chris Cooke:  “It was a fantastic run chase and a nice way to end the campaign.  We’re a pretty fearless bunch, as you saw today, and it’s exciting times.

 “Dan [Douthwaite] struck it very clean and he enjoyed the moment.  And Billy Root has been consistent for us in the competition.  He bowls, fields and bats, and he’s done brilliant for us.  He’s been a really good signing.  We started slowly in the competition, and that’s come back to haunt us, but we’ve improved with every game.”

 

Sussex captain Ben Brown:  “I think we had a good score on the board.  The lads reckoned there was a little bit in the wicket.  I think we should have defended it, really.

“We have to give Glamorgan credit.  And they played with freedom because they were out of the comp.  But Billy Root and Dan Douthwaite played really well.  They were some exciting young cricketers out there.

“But Laurie Evans and Luke Wright played two brilliant innings for us.  They are both match-winners on their day.  We’ve seen some incredible knocks from our batsmen and we’ve really improved our 50-over cricket this season.  We’ve been involved in some fantastic days of cricket.  But it’s still not quite good enough.” 

©Cricket World 2019