Coles steers Sussex to win over Hants in T20 Blast

Sussex's James Coles
Sussex's James Coles finished with career-best T20 figures of 4-34 [Getty Images]

Vitality Blast, The 1st Central County Ground, Hove

Sussex Sharks: 200-7 (20 overs) Coles 46, Ward 39

Hampshire Hawks: 178 (19.1 overs) Weatherley 34; Coles 4-34

Sussex Sharks won by 22 runs


James Coles starred with bat and ball as Sussex defeated Hampshire in the south coast derby to strengthen their chances of securing a T20 Blast quarter-final spot.

Coles top-scored with 46 from 33 balls in the Sharks' formidable total of 200-7 at Hove before registering career-best T20 figures of 4-34 with his left-arm spin.

Hampshire, whose hopes of chasing down the target were hindered by two messy run-outs, soon slid behind the required run-rate and were bowled out for 178 with five balls unused.

Sussex stay second in the South Group table but are now just two points behind leaders Surrey, while the Hawks – who have not won in six games – remain in seventh place, with their qualification prospects fading.

Harrison Ward got the Sharks off to a brisk start after they were put in, thrashing a string of boundaries that included two flat-batted sixes to reach 39 from 20 balls before he steered James Fuller tamely into the hands of mid-on.

Ward's dismissal paved the way for Tom Clark to build a partnership of 83 from 53 with Coles, who looked poised for a third half-century of the tournament until Liam Dawson had him caught in the deep.

With Clark (37 from 26) departing in the next over, Sussex's momentum stalled and it was mainly thanks to ex-Hampshire man Tom Alsop (35 from 17) and Danny Lamb (22 from 13) that they regained it.

Alsop dispatched Chris Wood for three successive fours in the penultimate over, steering his side to the 200 mark before he was run out from the final ball – and the Hawks were soon in trouble when they replied.

They lost Ben McDermott and Tom Prest inside the first nine deliveries, but Joe Weatherley (34 from 23) sparked the innings into life, launching Coles for six and sharing a partnership of 59 from 38 with James Vince.

Although Weatherley and Vince (32 from 22) fell in quick succession, Toby Albert and Benny Howell reignited the Hampshire chase by adding 50 from 26 – only for Coles to strike twice in four balls, including the wicket of Albert.

The Hawks' hopes rested with the experienced Howell, who struck 32 from 17, but once he was run out following a calamitous mix-up, Sussex eased home despite Wood's valiant late knock of 21.

Sussex all-rounder James Coles:

“It was critical we bounced back after Friday’s defeat against Glamorgan. The skipper [Tymal Mills] reminded us that good performances often come after defeats and we bounced back really well.

“We got over the line today, so happy days. I did well for my part, but we’re in the fortunate position where everyone is in good touch.”

Hampshire head coach Adrian Birrell:

“We were up with the rate after about 12 overs, but we had two silly run-outs and had a lot to do.

“We bat deep but we were a bit off in all departments, as we have been throughout the campaign. We’re not really playing well enough to go through.”

Thursday fixtures

North Group

Worcester: Worcestershire Rapids v Leicestershire Foxes (17:30 BST)

Headingley: Yorkshire Vikings v Durham (18:30)

Derby: Derbyshire Falcons v Lancashire Lightning (19:00)

South Group

Cheltenham: Gloucestershire v Middlesex (17:00)

Chelmsford: Essex v Kent Spitfires (19:00)