Sussex smash records in run spree
Sussex 399 for 4 beat Worcestershire 319 by 80 runs
An awesome batting display earned Sussex an eighth consecutive win in the Clydesdale Bank 40 as victory over Worcestershire kept them on course for a place in the semi-finals.
Joe Gatting and Ed Joyce both made centuries in a club-best stand of 210 to set Sussex on their way to a record 40-over score of 399 for 4 at Horsham. Moeen Ali smashed a career-best 158 off just 92 balls to keep Worcestershire in contention but did not get the necessary support as they fell 80 runs short.
The match also set a new record for aggregate runs in a 40-overs game of 718. Sussex launched their onslaught right from the start and by the end of the first powerplay Joyce and Gatting had put on 64.
Joyce brought up his 50 off 43 balls and Gatting followed suit soon after by clipping Aneesh Kapil for four to also bring up the 100 partnership. Joyce made his second 50 off just 24 balls as he smashed Daryl Mitchell into the tennis courts at the church end and then cleared the ropes off successive deliveries from Shaaiq Choudhry.
That broke the record partnership for the first wicket against Worcestershire of 153 set by Joyce and Chris Nash just last month. The pair also surpassed the record of 181 for any wicket against Worcestershire held by Mark and Keith Newell and also beat the record of 195 for the first wicket for Sussex against anyone in 40-over cricket by Richard Montgomerie and Matt Prior in 2006.
Joyce finally fell for 120 off just 74 balls, including 10 fours and five sixes, when he was caught at midwicket off the bowling of Jack Shantry. Gatting made his maiden List A century and once he had passed the milestone went on to smash 20 off one over from Kapil before hooking a short ball from Gareth Andrew to deep square leg. His 122 came off 94 balls and included 14 fours and four sixes.
Lou Vincent and Murray Goodwin ensured the runs kept flowing with Vincent smashing 71 from 43 balls and Goodwin 27 from 14 balls. Sussex scored a remarkable 179 from the last 13 overs to beat the previous highest 40-over score by any county of 386 by Surrey against Glamorgan last season but failed to become the first side to break 400 when they could only take nine off the final over.
Worcestershire's reply got off to bad start when Vikram Solanki was bowled by Naved Arif in the first over. Arif should have had Ali for just two as well but wicketkeeper Ben Brown spilled a simple catch and the left-hander made Sussex pay.
Ali went on to smash 20 fours and seven sixes to set a new record score for a Worcestershire player in a 40-over match before being stumped off the bowling of Mike Yardy.