Middlesex bring Sussex back to earth
Middlesex 164 for 5 (Rogers 46) beat Sussex 163 for 8 (Wright 71)
Middlesex ended Sussex's unbeaten start to the Friends Life t20 with a five-wicket win at Hove. The visitors reached their target of 164 with a ball to spare with Scott Newman's 39 not out guiding them home.
Middlesex began the final over needing eight to win but Rana Naved ran out John Simpson off the first ball. His next delivery was a wide and Newman and Ryan McLaren kept their nerve to secure their first win in the South Group.
Newman was dropped three times, firstly when Mike Yardy failed to hang on to a diving effort to his right and twice in the same Monty Panesar over by Rana on the mid-wicket boundary.
Middlesex had been put on course by a second-wicket stand of 70 from 47 balls between Australian Chris Rogers and Steven Crook.They came together in the fourth over after Paul Stirling was caught off a top-edge to give left-armer Chris Liddle the first of his two wickets.
Rogers and Crook found the gaps expertly to take their side to 101 for 1 when Panesar dragged Sussex back by taking two wickets in the 12th over. Crook holed out to long off and two balls later Rogers was held by wicketkeeper Andy Hodd for 46 off 40 balls with five fours.
Earlier, Luke Wright scored his second successive half-century as Sussex made 163 for eight on a slow pitch that suited bowlers who took pace off the ball.
None more so than Panthers' skipper Neil Dexter who finished with competition-best figures of four for 21 from three overs including two wickets in the final over.
Dexter probably felt he owed his side those wickets after badly dropping Wright on 57 at extra cover off McLaren. He went on to make 71 from 45 balls with seven fours and two sixes to follow his unbeaten 81 in Sussex's win over Essex on Wednesday.
Wright put on 31 for the opening wicket with Chris Nash and then added 47 in 33 balls with skipper Yardy for the fourth wicket.
Dexter claimed his first wicket when he bowled Yardy as he made room to cut and Sussex lost their way when Joe Gatting was run out after failing to beat Stirling's throw from long off and then Yardy was held at long on off the first ball of the 17th over.
Rana Naved did smash 19 off seven balls including a straight six over the sight-screen but it did not prove enough.