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Two more T20 wins for seconds

Sussex made it four from four in this summer’s Second XI T20 competition with wins against Kent and Middlesex at The 1st Central County Ground on Thursday.

In the day’s first game, Kent won the toss and batted. Sussex made an early breakthrough with Phil Salt stumping Sam Burgess off Delray Rawlins’ left-arm spin in the second over. When David Wiese had Joe Gordon caught at mid-wicket in the fourth over, Kent were 25 for 2.

Former Sussex pro, Harry Finch, and Kent white-ball specialist Alex Blake then combined to add 57 for the third wicket and give Kent the platform for a competitive total.

After Will Beer dismissed Blake for 35 from 20 balls, Kent stuttered, however. Finch was top-scorer with 50 from 45 balls and Harry Podmore added 16 from four balls at the death, but regular wickets limited Kent to 142 for 7 from their 20 overs.

Sussex took full advantage of the powerplay during their chase, reaching 71 for none before Phil Salt was bowled by Matt Milnes for a 14-ball 25 with the last ball of the sixth over.

The loss of four wickets for 26 runs – including top-scorer Luke Wright for 37 from 35 balls - threatened to derail the chase, but a 41-run fifth-wicket partnership between Wiese (23 from 20) and George Garton (21 from 10) took Sussex to the verge of victory.

The pair’s dismissal in successive balls left Taylor and Harrison Ward to hit the winning runs, handing Sussex a four-wicket win with four overs to spare.

Sussex won the toss and chose to bat first in the second game of the day. A brutal 44-ball 82 from Luke Wright, solid support from Bopara (34 off 24) and Rawlins (34 from 21) and a superb seven-ball cameo of 30 – including four sixes and a four – from George Garton took Sussex to a mammoth 216 for 4.

Middlesex made a valiant start to their chase, keeping up with the rate for much of the powerplay, but as wickets began to tumble they fell away. George Garton dismissed the dangerous Max Holden (41 off 20) before the spin of Tom Hinley (1 for 19 off 3), Archie Lenham (4 for 29 off 4) and Delray Rawlins (2 for 34 off 4)

There was also a wicket each for Ravi Bopara and – playing his first match since returning from injury – Sean Hunt as Middlesex were dismissed for 174 to hand Sussex a convincing 42-run win.

Sussex’s next fixture is – weather permitting - today (Friday) against Essex at The 1st Central County Ground. This game will be played behind closed doors.

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