Rippon stars as Sussex romp home
Sussex 212 for 6 (Goodwin 68*, Nash 54) beat Kent 129 (Rippon 4-23) by 83 runs
Michael Rippon took career-best figures of 4 for 23 on his debut as Sussex romped to an 83-run victory over Kent at Hove in the Friends Life t20 South Group. Murray Goodwin blasted an unbeaten 68 while Chris Nash made 54 as Sussex posted their second-highest Twenty20 score ever of 212 for 6.
That was always going to be tough for Kent and they fell well short as left-arm wrist spinner Rippon helped bowl them out for 129. The victory maintained Sussex's unbeaten record and reinforced their position at the top of the south group but dented Kent's hopes of making the knockout stages.
Sussex lost Luke Wright cheaply but still managed to get off to a flying start thanks to some big hitting from Nash and Prior. Wright had made just 6 when he was bowled by Adam Ball attempting an ugly swipe across the line.
Nash and Prior put on 61 off just 27 balls with Prior making Mark Davies suffer in particular with two sixes and two fours off one over. Prior fell four short of his half century when he was caught on the long off boundary by Sam Northeast off the bowling of Brendan Nash but his 46 had come off just 20 balls. Nash brought up his second half century of the season with a boundary off Simon Cook before being caught at the wicket off the same bowler for 54 off 38 balls.
Sussex briefly lost their momentum but after making a slow start Goodwin suddenly exploded with sixes off Cook and Nash to bring up his 50 off 23 balls. Cook dismissed Ben Brown and Mike Yardy in consecutive balls the final over to finish with figures of 3 for 41.
Amjad Khan blew a hole in Kent's hopes of chasing down such a daunting target by dismissing Sam Northeast and Rob Key in the Powerplay. Northeast was trapped lbw for 17 while Wright pulled off a stunning one-handed catch at short extra cover to remove Key for just 2. Darren Stevens hit 26 off 15 balls but was unable to play the big innings required as he skied a delivery from Chris Liddle to Wright at mid off.
Left-arm wrist spinner Rippon then showed why Sussex had snapped him up on an 18-month deal on the day of the game by removing Matt Coles, Geraint Jones, Nash and Ball.