Sussex were unable to follow up the fantastic win against Surrey, falling to defeat against Kent at Canterbury by 6 wickets.
Last year’s T20 Blast winners Kent won the toss and put Sussex into bat, and it was two of Sussex’s promising youngsters who set the early pace for the Sharks.
Young left-handed batsman Harrison Ward (33) and Ali Orr (36) put on a crucial second wicket stand of 73 after Mohammad Rizwan uncharacteristically dismissed for 4 in the opening over.
The Sussex pair took Sussex to 77-1 from just 8 overs to give the visitors a solid platform to build upon, before Ward was run out looking for a quick single.
Kent began to swing the momentum back in their favour, slowing down the run rate with spin and taking the vital wickets of Tom Alsop, Ali Orr and skipper Ravi Bopara.
Delray Rawlins picked up where he left off last night with the bat, adding a valuable 28 runs to steady the Sussex innings. He was eventually caught behind in the 17th over, with his match winning partner against Surrey, George Garton, at the other end.
Garton, who has been a huge miss for Sussex this season, played a vital role with Rawlins in the win against Surrey and once again played another brilliant innings at the death, making 31 from 16 deliveries to set Kent a target of 159 to win.
Rawlins returned to open the bowling and the decision paid dividends almost instantly, as he trapped Kent opener Tawanda Muyeye with just his third delivery.
Joe Denly and Jordan Cox were then begging to build momentum taking Kent to 48 from the first five overs, but Cox was dismissed by Henry Crocombe trying to pull a brilliantly disguised short, slower delivery.
Denly continued to be a thorn in the side of the Sussex attack, taking 1s and 2s and picking his moments to hit boundaries on his way to a 35-ball half-century.
Bopara brought himself back into the attack to good effect, taking the vital wicket of Denly with a leg-cutter that held in the pitch. Denly attempted to hit Bopara on the leg-side but sliced it down to third man where Henry Crocombe was waiting to take the catch, leaving Kent needing 65 from 48.
Sam Billings was building momentum at one end, but Denly’s replacement Alex Blake only lasted 6 balls before being beautifully trapped lbw by Rashid Khan back in his crease.
Although Kent didn’t hit an abundance of boundaries they ran hard between the wickets putting the Sussex fielders under pressure, takings 2s on numerous occasions.
Billings had good support from George Linde at the other end, who after taking a couple of overs to settle, began to let go.
The Kent pair saw the game to give the defending champions a victory in the 19th over.
Sussex Sharks have once again named an unchanged squad for the next two games in our Royal London Cup campaign.
The Directors of Sussex Cricket Limited (SCL) are seeking to appoint up to two independent Non-Executive Directors to join its Board.
Sussex took another step forward in their Royal London Cup campaign, beating Surrey by 216 runs in front of a packed crowd at The 1st Central County Ground.