Sussex defeated Warwickshire by 44 runs (D/L method)
It may be tempting for Warwickshire to claim that they were robbed in this match by an unfair rain rule and a cruel twist of fate; but it is a temptation that should be resisted.
The announcement, after three stoppages for rain, that Warwickshire would face a revised target of 76 from 21 balls was greeted with hoots of derision from the crowd.
But, if they are honest, Warwickshire will reflect that this match ended in a fair result. They were comprehensively outplayed in every department and are back to the drawing board in terms of planning for one-day cricket.
The result should be kept in perspective. Warwickshire have won two one- day matches in the last ten days and this performance could be dismissed as simply 'a bad day in the office.'
Nick Knight, Warwickshire's captain, is not one to hide behind excuses, however, and said that his side's performance was not up to standard.
"We are a couple of per cent down in all areas in our oneday cricket at the moment," Knight said. "We started pretty well but leaked runs a bit later on.
"I thought 250 was about par on that wicket and even when we were four down, I quite fancied our chances. The rain certainly didn't help and, in the end, the equation was pretty much impossible."
It had all started so well for Warwickshire. Dougie Brown struck three times in his opening spell to reduce Sussex to 49 for three, finding movement off the seam to account for Ian Ward, Michael Yardy, playing across the line and Chris Adams, who played on.
It could have been even better. Had Jonathan Trott, at slip, clung on to Matt Prior's hard chance off Brown when the batsman had scored only ten, Warwickshire could have been celebrating victory last night.
Alas, on such moments is one-day cricket decided and the miss was harshly punished. Prior went on to a oneday career-best score of 144 (135 balls, 19 fours and a six), punishing an attack that lacks the precision to excel in the limited-overs game.
Knight called upon eight bowlers in a vain attempt to restrict Prior but all to no avail.
He added 209 runs in only 29 overs with Murray Goodwin, Sussex's second-highest partnership in the history of the one-day league, taking the match away from Warwickshire in the process.
Knight said: "I was trying to stop things becoming too predictable for the batsmen and the likes of Jim Troughton and Trott will only improve if they bowl more often."
In truth, the attack looks a seamer short and Dewald Pretorius, who is only now nearing full fitness, must soon have a part to play in this one-day side.
Prior batted superbly. He is a fine, punchy striker of the ball, reminiscent in same ways of a young Mike
Gatting, and his driving on both sides of the wicket was superb.
He was quick, too, to latch on to the short ball and with short boundaries and a fast outfield, an uncharacteristically ragged display in the field from Warwickshire was shown up.
Heath Streak came back well, producing three fine yorkers to dismiss Prior, Luke Wright and Jo Van der Wath, but Warwickshire still conceded 86 runs off the final ten overs and have some thinking to do about their modus operandi in one-day cricket.
In reply Neil Carter was in more subdued form than usual, taking 57 balls over his 48 but there was precious little support from his colleagues.
Trott appeared unfortunate to be adjudged lbw when there was more than a little bat on the ball but the hammer blow fell when Knight was bowled off the inside edge attempting a square drive.
Knight's success still appears to be a pre-requisite for a successful Warwickshire
total in one-day cricket. Until the younger players start to turn their undoubted ability into match-winning performances, the captain will have an impossibly heavy load upon his shoulders.
Ian Bell was outfoxed by a wonderful piece of bowling by Mushtaq Ahmed. Bell was drawn down the pitch and Mushtaq beat him in the flight and saw Prior complete an easy stumping.
With the run-rate spiralling upwards, the middleorder perished to a succession of ambitious heaves. Jonathan Trott drops Matt Prior off Dougie Brown's bowling when the Sussex batsman had scored ten on his way to 144 out of 283 for seven. Tony Frost is the wicketkeeper Picture/ GRAHAM MORRIS ..SUPL: