Gloucestershire beat Sussex by 116 runs in Royal London One-Day Cup
Gloucestershire improved their chances of reaching the knockout stages of the Royal London One-Day Cup after a comprehensive 116-run win over Sussex Sharks at Eastbourne.
They plundered 135 off the last ten overs and 76 from the last five to boost their total to 335 for 6 and a Sussex side missing Phil Salt, Jofra Archer and Chris Jordan never really threatened despite another half-century from South African all-rounder David Wiese.
Benny Howell took a hat-trick – removing Ben Brown, Abi Sakande and Danny Briggs – to finish things off as Sussex were dismissed for 219 in 43.2 overs after losing their last five wickets for 14 runs and their net run rate also suffered.
The final round of South Group games on Tuesday will determine which sides join Hampshire in the knockout stages with Gloucestershire, Sussex and Middlesex all in contention.
Gloucestershire’s innings was transformed a sensational barrage in the closing overs from Jack Taylor, whose unbeaten 69 came off just 26 balls and included eight sixes and two fours. None of the bowlers were spared as Taylor peppered the small boundaries at the Saffrons, although he was dropped twice in the 47th over by Will Beer on 25 and Luke Wright on 35 off the luckless Mir Hamza.
The foundations had been laid by opener Miles Hammond, who quickly came to terms with a two-paced pitch and took few risks. His 95 off 105 balls contained 11 fours and two sixes and it was a surprise when he was caught trying to clear the long-off boundary in the 31st over.
Hammond had shared 110 for the first wicket with skipper Chris Dent who made 46 after being dropped by George Garton in the fifth over on nine. Sussex’s spinners Will Beer and Briggs did a good job of tying Gloucestershire down during the middle part of their innings and both finished with 2 for 51. Gareth Roderick’s first 25 runs all came in singles but when he drove Briggs to extra cover for 53 in the 44th over it was the signal for Taylor to cut loose.
On a small ground a run rate of 6.72 per over ought to have been well within their range, but Sussex’s innings never got any momentum in the face of some accurate bowling.
Luke Wright (21) and George Garton (1) fell in the power-play and Harry Finch (29) and Stiaan van Zyl (29) were unable to build on solid starts.
When Wiese, fresh from his record-breaking 171 against Hampshire on Thursday, came in during the 23rd over the required rate had climbed to 8.72 but he kept Sussex in the hunt, sharing 65 in 11 overs with Laurie Evans (44) and 56 in seven with Ben Brown.
Sussex were actually one run better off than Gloucestershire as the last ten overs began and Wiese had reached 55 from 58 balls when Jack Taylor ran in from the mid-wicket boundary to hold a diving catch off his younger brother Matt. Brown (27) was caught in the deep off Howell in the 42nd over before he finished the innings off by dismissing Abi Sakande and Danny Briggs from the first two balls of the 44th.
?? Gloucestershire win by 116 runs.— Sussex Cricket (@SussexCCC) May 5, 2019
Danny Briggs the last man out. 219 all out from 43.2. pic.twitter.com/CNLXHGLNKR
Sussex must now beat Glamorgan at Hove to give themselves a chance while Gloucestershire travel to Essex knowing a third successive win could enable them to squeeze into the quarter-finals.
Ben Brown (Sussex captain)
It was a disappointing performance. We've played some good cricket in this competition but not today. We didn't quite execute our bowling plans, we gave them too much width and didn't adapt to the wicket. And the cold reality is we also dropped some catches and that ended up costing us as well.
Different guys have fired for us with the bat at different times but it's fair to say the top order haven't gelled consistently enough. We have got out of jail with runs down the order but if we are going to win consistently in 50 overs cricket we have get runs regularly from the top order and not sporadically.
We've young players who will have good and bad days but we haven't been in the hunt in this competition for a number of years and if you offered me the scenario where we could qualify by winning our last game then I would have taken it.
Richard Dawson (Gloucestershire coach)
It was a big improvement on the last game when we lost to Glamorgan. Miles Hammond played really nicely and we built partnerships at the top and that laid the foundations for our middle order to do what they did at the end. Batting-wise we could not have asked for much more. Jack Taylor struck the ball beautifully and we knew a total of 335 was probably above par.
Then with the ball we never panicked. We caught and fielded very well which on a ground with small boundaries was very pleasing and I thought Chris Dent captained the side really well, he made a lot of good tactical decisions.
It is nice to go into the last group game on Tuesday with something to play for and hopefully we can produce another good performance against Essex.
Luke Wright, Harry Finch, George Garton,Stiaan van Zyl, Laurie Evans, David Wiese, Ben Brown(c)(wk), Will Beer, Danny Briggs, Abidine Sakande,Mir Hamza
Chris Dent(c), Gareth Roderick(wk), Miles Hammond, Benny Howell, James Bracey, Graeme van Buuren, Jack Taylor, Ryan Higgins, Tom Smith, David Payne , Matt Taylor