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Sharks just fall short at Chelmsford

Sussex came within 12 runs of chasing down a massive total of 244 set by Essex Eagles at Chelmsford. It was a fantastic effort by the Sharks who just fell short of chasing what would have been a record chase for the visitors in T20 cricket. 

Adam Rossington started fast, and with the top four of Essex’s batsman all making 30+ runs the home side looked to be in control in the first innings.

Daniel Sams came in at 6 and accelerated Essex’s innings even further, making 71 from just 24 balls.

Although the home side put on a big total, Sussex appeared to be up for the challenge.

Mohammad Rizwan blazed 66 from 32 to keep the Sharks’ hopes of victory alive before former Essex star Ravi Bopara bludgeoned a valiant 51 from 26.

But it was not enough as he fell to Daniel Sams in the final over and Sussex fell just short on 233 for six – the match aggregate of 477 setting a Blast record.

The visitors’ chances of overhauling Essex’s enormous total largely rested on a lightning start by Rizwan – and the Pakistan star, returning to the side after international duty, did his best to oblige.

After the wicket of Luke Wright, Rizwan and Ali Orr (38) accumulated a stand of 87 from 31, with the latter slamming Allison for a trio of sixes in one over.

Rizwan registered five maximums of his own, including a ruthless swat off Sams that flew out of the ground and, despite pulling up in pain just short of his half-century and limping from then on, he kept Sussex up with the required rate.

Aron Nijjar claimed the prized scalp of Rizwan with his second ball, deceiving him with the flight to win a leg-before appeal – but Tom Alsop (45) and Bopara maintained the chase with a partnership of 69 from 31.

However, once Critchley had Alsop and Rashid caught on the boundary in successive balls, even Bopara’s heroics were not quite enough to prevent Sussex from an incredible victory. 

 

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