Ed Barnard continued his outstanding form in the Metro Bank One-Day Cup with his second successive century as Warwickshire’s scrambled to a one-wicket win over Sussex Sharks at The 1st Central County Ground to seal top spot in Group B and a home semi-final on 29 August.
The 27-year-old all-rounder, who had earlier taken his 11th wicket in this season’s competition, took his aggregate to 590 runs with 100, two days after he’d made 161 – his maiden List A century – against Durham. He has also scored three fifties.
Sussex had fancied their chances of ending a disappointing campaign with only their second win when they had Warwickshire 126 for four halfway through their pursuit of 276 and again when they removed Barnard and Ethan Brookes, who’d put on 78 for the fifth wicket, in successive overs with 64 still needed.
Jake Lintott hit a breezy 28 but Henry Crocombe picked up two wickets to keep Sussex in contention and when last man Oliver Hannon-Dalby walked out Warwickshire still needed 13 off 16 balls. Sussex had one last opportunity but sub fielder Zach Lion-Cachet dropped Danny Briggs on the boundary and Briggs swung the next ball over mid-on for four to seal his team’s seventh win out of eight.
Barnard and Rob Yates had begun with 83 in 13 overs for the first wicket, but their progress was checked by three wickets in six overs, two of them for all-rounder Dan Ibrahim, who found some extra seam movement to defeat Yates while Alex Davies played on.
Skipper Will Rhodes drove to mid-off and Jake Bethell under-edged to the keeper before Barnard and Brookes rebuilt.
Barnard was stumped giving off-spinner James Coles the charge, having hit nine fours and twice cleared the short boundary on the eastern side while Brookes (43) was leg before sweeping Bertie Foreman in the next over.
For Sussex it was a seventh defeat in their eight games, a bitter disappointment after they reached the last four a year ago, although this was a much better performance.
Put in by Rhodes, their 275 for 8 featured three half-centuries, but no one was able to push on and make the big score that would have given them a more competitive total on a slow pitch.
Tom Alsop top scored with 68 – his first fifty of the tournament – and Tom Haines hit 55 – his fourth half-century – before Ibrahim made it back-to-back fifties as he added 65 for the seventh wicket with Foreman - another 19-year-old – as 93 were plundered off the last ten overs.
Sussex made a decent total without a major contribution from Cheteshwar Pujara, who was leg before to Henry Brookes for 23 from 40 balls and looked unusually out of sorts.
Warwickshire bowled tightly. The competition’s leading wicket-taker Hannon-Dalby claimed his 24th victim when Ibrahim feathered an edge to wicketkeeper Kai Smith and there were two wickets for leg-spinner Lintott, who pinned Haines leg before to end a second-wicket stand of 83 with Alsop.
Ibrahim and Foreman swelled the total in the closing overs, their partnership spanning just 35 balls with Ibrahim’s 56 coming from 46 deliveries.
Report provided by ECB Reporter's Network
Post match reaction from Tom Alsop