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July 8, 2012
Surrey 64 for 3 (Pietersen 36*) beat Sussex 104 for 0 (Wright 54*) by seven wickets (D/L method)
Surrey's miserable Friends Life t20 campaign at least ended on a winning note with a seven-wicket victory under the Duckworth-Lewis method over South Group winners Sussex at Hove.
Set 62 in five overs after rain had forced a lengthy delay, Surrey reached their target in the final over thanks to an impressive cameo by Kevin Pietersen. The England batsman blasted 36 off 16 balls with a four and three sixes, the third of which off a full toss from Luke Wright secured victory with two balls to spare.
Pietersen had lost his opening partner Steve Davies in the first over thanks to a brilliant one-handed catch at extra cover by Chris Liddle off Mike Yardy.
Liddle produced an even better effort in the second over when he ran around the long-on boundary to intercept a full-blooded drive from Jason Roy with a diving two-handed catch. But the second over by Amjad Khan cost 17 runs and the third, from left-arm spinner Michael Rippon, went for 18 as both Pietersen and Gary Wilson cleared the ropes.
Liddle bowled Wilson as he played across the line in the fourth over but Surrey needed just eight runs off the final over - a target that was not going to tax a player of Pietersen's calibre.
Luke Wright and Chris Nash had earlier hammered 104 off nine overs before the rain arrived, as the Sussex batsmen continued the impressive form they have shown throughout the tournament so far. Wright made his second half-century to take his aggregate in this year's competition to 308 runs, the third best in the country.
It was a chastening experience for the Surrey bowlers and in particular Chris Tremlett, who is feeling his way back to fitness after injury. Tremlett's only over disappeared for 23 runs as Nash took a boundary off the first ball and then Wright hit him for three fours and a six.
The pair scored 70 in the Powerplay and Wright had just reached his fifty, from 27 balls, when the rain came. Nash was no less impressive, racing to 41 from 28 balls with five fours and a six off Zafar Ansari.
The game had started 40 minutes late and when rain halted Sussex's innings there was a delay of over two hours. Duckworth-Lewis calculations seemed to favour Surrey but despite suffering their first South Group defeat Sussex had already booked a home tie in the quarter-finals and will now face Gloucestershire at Hove.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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