Somerset v Sussex, Royal London Cup, Group B, Taunton August 10, 2014

Arafat five sets up Sussex win

Press Association

Sussex 189 for 3 (Machan 47*, Joyce 46*) beat Somerset 193 for 8 (Ingram 72, Arafat 5-36) by seven wickets D/L

Yasir Arafat claimed five wickets against one of his many former clubs as Sussex boosted their hopes of a Royal London One-Day Cup quarter-final place with a seven-wicket win over Somerset in a match reduced to 33 overs per side at Taunton.

Arafat's 5 for 36 from seven overs kept the hosts to a modest 193 for 8 after losing the toss, Colin Ingram top-scoring with 71, while Nick Compton hit 42 and James Hildreth 42 not out.

Sussex were set a revised target of 189 under the Duckworth-Lewis system and eased home with 24 balls to spare thanks to an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 94 between Matt Machan, who made an unbeaten 47, and 46 not out from skipper Ed Joyce.

After a delayed 11am start was prevented by further rain, play began at 11.40am with the game initially reduced to 44 overs per side. Somerset quickly plunged into trouble as Marcus Trescothick played on, trying to leave the first ball of the second over, bowled by Arafat. The next delivery saw Peter Trego, who had scored centuries in Somerset's previous two games, caught behind down the leg side and by the time the rain returned after 5.1 overs the hosts were 10 for 2.

The action resumed at 1.45pm and, with the sun breaking through, batting looked a good deal easier. Ingram and Compton exercised caution, the latter enjoying a slice of luck on 28 when playing a ball from Chris Liddle onto his off stump without the bail being removed. Ingram swept a six off Will Beer as the total approached the 100-mark, but one run short Compton was lbw to Liddle falling across his stumps, having looked in little trouble.

It was 157 for 4 in the 27th over when Ingram ran himself out, calling for a second run to fine leg and beaten by Liddle's throw to the wicketkeeper. The South African had faced 74 balls and hit seven fours and a six.

Hildreth looked in good touch, but was unable to conjure up sufficient boundaries in his 43-ball knock and Somerset's hopes of a big finish were dashed when Arafat removed Lewis Gregory for 18, Tim Groenewald and Craig Meschede in the final over.

Sussex approached their revised target with gusto, Chris Nash pulling a six off Alfonso Thomas in only the fourth over, which ended with 33 already on the board. Luke Wright brought up the 50 in the sixth over by lifting Groenewald over midwicket for a maximum.

The opening stand was worth 86 when Nash was run out for 30 off the final ball of the 10th over, setting off for a single dabbed to short third-man and being beaten by wicketkeeper Alex Barrow's direct hit when sent back. The next over saw Wright, on 42, drive a return catch to left-arm spinner Leach, having faced 32 balls and hit six fours and a six. And Somerset were back in it when Craig Cachopa was caught by Gregory for 5, having skied Leach to mid-on.

Leach's figures would have been even better had Barrow not missed a simple stumping chance offered by Machan on 19, with the total 129 for 3. It was an error the home side could not afford and was symptomatic of a poor fielding display. Several catches went down as Machan and Joyce saw their side to a comfortable success, both pacing their innings to perfection.

Afterwards Arafat, who was twice on a hat-trick, said: "After losing our first two games confidence is growing all the time and we now have a great chance of reaching the quarter-finals."

Somerset's Leach added: `"No one should read too much into this result. The toss was important and it was always going to be difficult batting first, so we are determined not to let it affect the momentum we were building in the competition."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Pelham on August 12, 2014, 10:13 GMT

    @JG2704: There are two issues here: (1) Why was D/L used at all? (2) Given that D/L was used, why did the target go down, not up? I have tried to deal with point (2) in my previous postings, but perhaps had taken point (1) for granted. You say "If the game is reduced before play starts then provided you get the allocated overs in then the target should be the target." That is true, and if the match had started and been completed as a 33 over match, no adjusted target would have been needed. However, that does not apply to this match. As I pointed out in both my previous postings, the match did not start as a 33 over match, but as a 44 over match. The match was reduced to 33 overs after Somerset had lost two wickets. See the fourth paragraph of the report above, beginning "After a delayed 11am start ..." It is because the length of the match was further reduced after it had started that D/L was applied.

  • John on August 12, 2014, 8:34 GMT

    @Pelham_Barton - Sorry I'm still none the wiser. I followed the last few overs of Somerset's inns and it said 33 overs which they completed and scored 193 I understand the logic that if a game is reduced mid inns then some runs are added on (the amount being calculated by wickets lost etc - EG if a team was 149-3 after 30 overs , the target (if game reduced after the inns has started to 30 overs would be higher than 150 based on overs left,acceleration,wkts in hand etc) If the game is reduced before play starts then provided you get the allocated overs in then the target should be the target. It doesn't matter on this game as Sussex breezed it anyway but sometimes cricket really baffles me. Like when they reduced Somerset's 50 overs to 48 overs vs Kent and lost by a couple of runs on DL.There were strong arguments that Somerset would have won - needing 13 off the last 2. Had no siiue with the DL target - just they had plenty of time to complete the game without overs taken away

  • Pelham on August 12, 2014, 7:44 GMT

    @JG2704 on (August 11, 2014, 19:43 GMT): The crucial thing in the calculations is that the match was reduced from 44 to 33 overs after Somerset had lost two early wickets. Wickets falling after the match was reduced to 33 overs did not affect the calculations at all.

  • John on August 11, 2014, 19:43 GMT

    @Pelham_Barton on (August 11, 2014, 12:17 GMT) Thanks for the response but I'm afraid I'm none the wiser I can see that happened in the match you talk about but I still don't understand. Surely a team should not be penalised any more for losing wickets in the 33rd over of a 33 over game any more than they should in the 50th of a 50 over game

  • Pelham on August 11, 2014, 12:17 GMT

    @JG2704 on (August 11, 2014, 8:53 GMT): [I am not sure if a previous attempt to reply got through, but here is another go.] The match started at 44 overs a side and Somerset lost 2 wickets in the 5.1 overs before the match was further reduced to 33 overs a side. The longer an innings is intended to last, the more the batting side must try to avoid losing early wickets and so the greater value to the bowling side of taking those wickets. The reduction in target reflects the reduction in the value to Sussex of having taken 2 early wickets when the length of the match was reduced from 44 overs a side to 33 overs a side. In fact, something similar happened on 5 August this year at Bristol. That match started at 45 overs a side and Leicestershire lost 4 wickets in 15 overs before the match was reduced to 25 overs a side. Again there was a slight downward adjustment to Gloucestershire's target.

  • John on August 11, 2014, 8:53 GMT

    I genuinely don't understand the DL system here. The match was reduced to 33 overs and Somerset scored 193 in their allotted overs - so why was Sussex's target reduced albeit by a handful of runs? I understand the logic that when a team setting a target has it's total increased if rain has interrupted an inns but I've never noticed this happen before. I'm starting to get quite puzzled by various rules and regs in the cricket world

    Still well played Sussex - you gave us a hiding

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