Middlesex breeze back into top spot
Middlesex 152 for 4 (Denly 53) beat Sussex 148 for 7 (Nash 61*, Berg 3-19) by 6 wickets
Middlesex moved back to the top of the Friends Life t20 South group after a six-wicket win over Sussex at Hove.
Although Middlesex did not secure victory until the fourth ball of the final over, they always looked in control chasing a target of 149. Dawid Malan continued his outstanding form with 41 to take his competition aggregate this season to 335 runs while Joe Denly weighed in with 53.
Middlesex needed just a single run off the final over to claim victory but after failing to score from the first three balls, Adam Voges sealed their fourth group win when he chipped Dwayne Smith over midwicket for a boundary as the Panthers reached 152 for 4.
Earlier, Sussex skipper Chris Nash had held the hosts' innings together with 61 off 46 balls but he lacked the necessary support as the Sharks finished on 148 for 7. Nash made his first half-century in this season's tournament, coming in during the fourth over after Sussex had been reduced to 31 for 2.
Smith was caught behind wafting across the line at the first ball of the match from Kyle Mills and Rory Hamilton-Brown picked out midwicket in Gareth Berg's first over after briefly prospering with four boundaries in his 18. Opener Matt Machan looked in good touch with 27 off 17 balls including six fours but when he holed out to long on in offspinner Ollie Rayner's first over it was left to Nash to steady the ship.
Nash lofted the first of three sixes over the pavilion roof in the sixth over off Mills, having been hit on the collar bone earlier in the over. Then in the 18th over he twice cleared the ropes off Gurjit Sandhu. Nash also hit five boundaries, adding 45 for the fourth wicket with Scott Styris (24) in the most productive stand of the Sussex innings.
Berg picked up two wickets at the end to finish with 3 for 19 but Sussex's total was immediately put into context when debutant Lewis Hatchett's first over in the format disappeared for 26. His first delivery went for four leg byes and he then conceded four boundaries and a six, 22 of the runs scored by Paul Stirling.
Andy Miller, in his first T20 game for two years, knocked back Stirling's off stump in the second over but an asking rate of seven an over was never going to inconvenience a strong Panthers' outfit on a good pitch and fast, parched outfield, especially with the form Malan is enjoying.
Malan and Denly put on 80 in 12 overs for the second wicket with Malan continuing his impressive form with 41 at a run-a-ball while Denly's 53 from 46 balls, which included four sixes, was his second T20 half-century this season. Denly was bowled coming down the pitch to Styris, whose four overs cost just 19, and Malan drove to extra cover in the 17th over when 18 runs were needed.
Adam Rossington drove Chris Liddle to point but Middlesex comfortably avenged their earlier defeat at Lord's which remains Sussex's only win so far.