Sharks are seeking a strong finish to T20 campaign

Luke Wright
Luke Wright

Sussex are hoping a packed Shark Tank can roar them into Natwest T20 Blast contention.

Sussex are hoping a packed Shark Tank can roar them back into Natwest T20 Blast contention tonight.

A welcome and much-needed T20 win over Kent last time out breathed new life into the county’s chances of progressing from the congested South Group.

Now the club is hoping a bumper Friday night crowd at the County Ground can spur the Sharks on to a victory which could propel them up the table and give them a chance of reaching the quarter final stage of the competition.

The top four from each regional group qualify and Sussex currently two points behind Surrey in third and Glamorgan in fourth.

Luke Wright was in good form against Kent, scoring 85 of the Sharks’ 149 runs, with his personal total coming from 61 balls and including seven four and two sixes. A similar turn from the all-rounder tonight would surely provide a solid platform for Sussex to claim what would be just their fourth win in this year’s tournament.

Against Kent, Steffan Piolet was again the pick of the bowlers, ending the match with 3-14. Will Beer recorded figures of 2-25 and Lewis Hatchett 2-20 as all six of the Sharks’ bowlers picked up wickets.

It was an unusual game for Kent’s bowler James Tredwell, who ended with a team best 2-20 for the Spitfires despite recently arriving on loan at Sussex, where he is available to play in the County Championship while still turning out for his parent club in the short form.

While T20 success would be welcome, Sussex’s attention will surely be weighted in favour of County Championship survival.

A 309-run defeat to Durham earlier this week left Sussex just two points above the Division One drop-zone and rooted firmly in a relegation battle.

The county’s cause has not been helped by injuries to key players, such as Michael Yardy, and the absence of Chris Jordan and Matt Prior on England duty.

Coach Mark Robinson, however, insisted now was not a time for his players to sit licking their wounds.

Sussex welcome Northamptonshire for what could prove a key County Championship match, starting on Sunday. A healthy crowd would clearly be appreciated by players looking to return to form on home soil.

Tickets for tonight’s T20 game, which starts at 7pm, are still available, priced from £20, and entry to the Northamptonshire clash is £15 for adults, £5 for juniors and free for under-fives.