Coles stars as Kent canter
Sussex 113 (Coles 3-14, Claydon 3-22) beat Kent 117 for 2 (Coles 40) by eight wickets
Sussex Sharks' dismal Twenty20 campaign ended on a suitably downbeat note as Kent Spitfires condemned them to a ninth defeat in this season's competition. The hosts were bowled out for 113 off the final ball of their innings and Kent eased to an eight-wicket victory with 41 balls to spare to ensure Sussex finished bottom of the South Group.
Quarter-finalists for the last four years and one of the pre-tournament favourites, Sussex's campaign never got any momentum and another woeful batting performance was typical of their efforts in this season's tournament.
Openers Matt Machan and Luke Wright gave them a decent start by putting on 39 in five overs, 22 of them coming in the third over when Machan hit Mark Davies for three sixes, two of them slog-swept over midwicket and the other hoisted high over long-on. But when Machan fell for 31 the innings nosedived with only Ed Joyce and Rory Hamilton-Brown getting into double figures.
A slow pitch inhibited Sussex's strokeplayers but no one seemed willing to play the anchor role that might have taken them to a reasonable total. Instead, wickets fell regularly after Wright was caught off a leading edge in the sixth over to give Matt Coles the first of his three wickets.
Coles had Chris Nash caught on the midwicket boundary in his next over when Daniel Bell-Drummond cleverly parried upwards before completing the catch and Coles returned to the attack in the 19th over to have Joyce held at long-off.
Offspinner Adam Riley also impressed for Kent with 1 for 14 while Mitch Claydon took two wickets in the last over to finish with 3 for 22, the innings ending when Chris Liddle was run out off the final ball.
Kent had little trouble knocking off their target despite losing Bell-Drummond in the third over when he mistimed a drive to mid-off to give James Anyon, who was making his competition debut for Sussex, his first T20 wicket for three years.
The powerful Coles put Kent in control with 40 off 23 deliveries, including three sixes and three fours, and although he fell to legspinner Will Beer's first ball - bowled slogging across the line in the ninth over - Kent only needed 41 to win at that stage and cantered to their third win in the competition, Fabien Cowdrey finishing unbeaten on 28.