Twenty20 Cup- Quarter Final, at Hove: Sussex 152-9 v Warwickshire 114 (I J L Trott 56, R J Hamilton-Brown 4-15) Sussex beat Warwickshire by 38 runs
Warwickshire’s Twenty20 hoodoo struck again last night as they tumbled out of the competition at the quarter-final stage for the fifth time in six years, Sussex bouncing back from their Friends Provident Trophy disappointment to reach Twenty20 finals day for the second time in three years.
It was all the more galling for the Bears, knowing that said finals day will be at Edgbaston.
Two days after losing to Hampshire at Lord’s, the Sharks comfortably defended a total of 152 for nine to beat Warwickshire in front of a 6,800 crowd at Hove and extend their winning sequence in the competition to six matches.
Sussex’s slow bowlers were again impressive, with off-spinner Rory Hamilton-Brown finishing the Bears off with four for 15 from only three overs.
Hamilton-Brown struck twice in three balls after coming on in the 15th over. Tony Frost dragged his first delivery onto the off stump and Warwickshire’s hopes effectively ended with the dismissal of Jonathan Trott two balls later.
The 28-year-old England one-day international had taken his aggregate in this season’s competition to 505 runs from 11 innings with 56 off 47 balls, including seven fours, and he looked mortified to be given out leg before attempting to work the ball through square.
No-one was able to give Trott the required support, with Neil Carter, Jim Troughton and Tim Ambrose all falling cheaply, Ambrose to Will Beer’s googly in his first over. Skipper Ian Westwood helped Trott add 26 for the fifth wicket but, having been dropped earlier in the over, he holed out to deep mid-wicket to give Beer his second success.
Man-of-the-match Hamilton-Brown also bowled Keith Barker and Boyd Rankin to finish with competition-best figures as Warwickshire were bowled out for 114 with an over unused.
In the end, the difference was probably the cameo Chris Nash played at the end of the Sussex innings. After Murray Goodwin had been caught in Barker’s first over, Luke Wright and Hamilton-Brown put on 43 in six overs to take Sussex to 75 for one in the 11th over.
But the innings went into a steady decline after Rikki Clarke dismissed both batsmen in the same over.
Wright, having made 38, was looking for the boundary again when he was held at wide long on and two balls later Hamilton-Brown was caught behind trying to guide the ball down to third man on 27. Dwayne Smith briefly threatened but, having bludgeoned the previous ball to the long-off rope, he was caught there off the next delivery.
Sussex lost five wickets for 36 between the tenth and 15th over and their plight should have been worse but Ambrose missed a simple stumping opportunity when Nash had failed to score.
Nash began to find his range, pulling the last ball of the 19th over from Carter for six and driving Barker for another maximum in the final over to finish unbeaten on 29 off 14 balls.