Oli Carter and Brad Currie were the heroes as Sussex Sharks upset Hampshire Hawks at Hove to claim only their third win in this season’s Vitality Blast.
In quick-scoring conditions at The 1st Central County Ground the reigning champions dragged things back well after Carter (64) and skipper Ravi Bopara (30) took Sussex to 127 for 2 in the 12th over with a stand of 98 in nine overs.
They departed in successive overs and although Sussex got to 183 for 6 it didn’t look enough in quick-scoring conditions.
But by the second ball of the third over Hampshire had slumped to 15 for 3 and were soon 24 for 4. Although Liam Dawson made 59 off 34 balls and their lower order batters kept swinging Sussex won by six runs.
Debutant Currie started his first over with two wides but then had James Vince caught at deep mid-wicket before Toby Albert played on to the next ball. The hat-trick delivery was also a wide but Sussex were celebrating again when Ben McDermott was pinned in front of middle stump by Ari Karvelas at the start of the next over.
The 24-year-old left-armer, who will be playing for Dorset in the National Counties Trophy against Wales on Sunday, took his third wicket in his second over when Ross Whiteley dragged on, leaving Hampshire 24 for 4.
Joe Weatherley (33) and Dawson rebuilt in a stand of 51 and even after Weatherley fatally swung across the line to a straight ball from Ravi Bopara, Dawson didn’t give up.
He reached his sixth fifty in the format and had just hit George Garton into the flats overlooking the ground for his fifth six when the left-armer hit the top of off stump with his next ball.
But this was a night for Currie. He added to his three wickets with a sensational catch when he made ten yards to his left and dived full length on the mid-wicket boundary to take a two-handed grab and remove Howell. Even then, with 22 needed off the final over, Nathan Ellis scored 12 off the first three balls but was leg before to the fifth from Karvelas as Hampshire finished on 177 for 9.
The unexpected star of the Sussex innings was 21-year-old Carter, who smashed 64 off just 33 balls in only his sixth game in the format. His previous highest score was 27 against Essex earlier this month but he made the most of his chance at No.3 to hit six fours and four sixes, including successive maximums off James Fuller to become only the third Sussex batter to lodge a fifty in this season’s Blast.
Skipper Bopara has made two of them and when he and Carter were putting on 98 from 54 balls for the third wicket the holders looked a little rattled.
But, as experienced sides tend to do, the Hawks held their nerve and Sussex struggled to regain the initiative after Bopara, who had just heaved the returning Howell over mid-wicket, played on trying to repeat the shot to the next ball.
Carter played shots all around the wicket and demonstrated eye-catching improvisation, but he departed four balls later giving himself room to heave over cow corner only to pick out Ellis, who took a good catch, instead. That was in the 12th over and Sussex didn’t score another boundary until the 17th as Howell and Dawson, whose four overs cost just 21, kept things tight.
Report provided ECB Reporter's Network