Spinners set up Sussex victory
Sussex 98 for 3 beat Gloucestershire 97 for 9 by seven wickets
Spinners Monty Panesar and Michael Yardy claimed five wickets between them as Sussex Sharks defeated Gloucestershire Gladiators by seven wickets in a Friends Life t20 game at Bristol.
In a match reduced to 17 overs per side by rain, the Gladiators could only manage 97 for 9 as Panesar (3 for 14) and Yardy (2 for 22) did much of the damage. Lou Vincent (31 not out) and Murray Goodwin (27) then led the Sharks to victory with 15 balls to spare, making it two wins out of two for the south coast county.
The Gladiators, though, have lost three times in as many games. The sides had been set to start on time at 2.30pm but further rain swept across the County Ground and play was delayed by 90 minutes.
The Gladiators lost skipper Alex Gidman to the last ball of Luke Wright's opening over when he was superbly caught off a skied drive by Rava Naved-ul-Hasan at wide mid-on. Hamish Marshall and Chris Taylor put on 32 for the second wicket - the biggest stand of the innings - before Marshall fell lbw to Yardy for 16.
Taylor was the next to go, trapped lbw when sweeping at Panesar for 22, and no other Gloucestershire batsman could break the stranglehold exerted by the two Sussex spinners. Kane Williamson was bowled around his legs by Panesar, Will Gidman was taken on the midwicket boundary off Yardy and Panesar had Ed Young lbw.
Kevin O'Brien struck Wayne Parnell for six over midwicket, but the South African got revenge next ball when Yardy held a skied drive at extra cover. A fine all-round bowling performance from Sussex was completed by Naved-ul-Hasan, who bowled Richard Coughtrie in the 15th over and had Ian Saxelby leg before in the last one.
Sussex lost a wicket in the third over of their innings when Chris Nash miscued a pull off Jon Lewis to Saxelby at mid-on. It became 31 for 2 in the fifth over when Muttiah Muralitharan had Wright lbw to claim his first wicket for the Gladiators.
But Sussex's victory never looked seriously in doubt and Murray Goodwin hit 27 from 20 deliveries before he was caught by O'Brien on the midwicket boundary from Williamson's first ball. Vincent and Yardy took Sussex to victory with an unbroken stand of 37, despite some tidy spin bowling from Muralitharan and Williamson.
Vincent provided the finishing touches by reverse-sweeping Williamson for a boundary and then cutting the next ball for three to third man.