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Sharks inflict first defeat of Blast campaign on Surrey

Delray Rawlins put in a man of the match performance as Sussex beat Surrey at The 1st Central County Ground by 17 runs.

Surrey opener Will Jacks looked to be leading the visitors to a target of 173 when he took his aggregate in this season’s competition to 396 runs with 76, his fifth fifty of the campaign and two days after his unbeaten 66 helped secure a last-ball win over Somerset.

But when he was caught behind trying to guide a quicker ball from left-arm spinner Delray Rawlins into the off-side in the 15th over, having hit 11 fours and a six, Surrey’s lower order folded quickly and they were bowled out for 155 in 18.2 overs, their first defeat in any competition this season. 

Skipper Chris Jordan, their last recognised batsman, was run out by Ravi Bopara’s throw from the covers after being sent back and Surrey’s last five wickets fell for 16 runs, Bopara finishing things off with another direct hit to run out Dan Moriarty.

Sussex’s fourth win out of 11 was much needed, although they will need to win their three remaining games to have any chance of reaching the knockout stages.

Their 172 for five, having been put in, was inflated at the end by a crucial stand of 60 from the last 27 balls between Delray Rawlins and George Garton, who was playing his first game since June 1 as he continued his recovery from long Covid.

Earlier, Harrison Ward, promoted to open, was caught off a leading edge in the last over of a powerplay which yielded 46 runs, and Mohammad Rizwan and Ali Orr’s partnership was just starting to blossom when both departed in the space of three balls in the 11th over.

Orr got a thin edge and was caught behind for 30 while Rizwan, who had progressed ominously to 48, was beaten by Jordan’s direct hit from mid-off when he changed his mind about a quick single and unfortunately slipped as he tried to make his ground.

Gus Atkinson then took the wickets of Alsop and Bopara before Rawlins and Garton put on a fantastic partnership of 60 off the final four overs.

Jacks and Jamie Smith launched the reply with 53 off 29 balls and although Smith and Nico Reifer departed in the space of five balls it failed to halt Surrey’s momentum as Jacks and Laurie Evans added 57 off 33 to seemingly break the back of the chase.

Rawlins was in explosive form with the bat, and he followed up once again with the ball.

Sussex kept plugging away. Evans was well taken by Ward at long on off Tymal Mills, Rashid Khan dismissed Sunil Narine before Rawlins lured Burns out of his ground as Surrey lost three wickets in just ten balls.

Sussex fielded fantastically well throughout the Surrey innings, and it was skipper Bopara's direct hit that wrapped things up and gave the Sharks a huge win at Hove.


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