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June 16, 2006
Carl Hopkinson led Sussex to a place in the final of the C&G Trophy on August 26 with a five wicket victory over holders Hampshire at Hove. His unbeaten 69 helped Sussex seal their first appearance in a major final for 13 years.
Hopkinson and Mike Yardy (41) shared a crucial fifth-wicket stand of 95 in 19 overs as Sussex, set 255 to win, got home with seven balls to spare at Hove.
Sussex skipper Chris Adams paid tribute to his team. "I can't give enough credit to the youngsters in the side. It's going to be a great day out for us so bring on whoever."
Sussex, who qualify for the final without having to win their last Southern Conference game against Gloucestershire, started strongly with Matt Prior (54) sharing an opening stand of 95 with Richard Montgomerie (44) in 16 overs. But the hosts later slipped to 120 for 4 with Adams, Murray Goodwin and Montgomerie all falling in the space of five overs.
Hampshire, who chose to bat, were bowled out for 254 with three balls of their innings remaining. Michael Carberry and Sean Ervine had given them a solid start by sharing in a second-wicket stand of 106 in only a dozen overs.
Hampshire, who needed to win to have any chance of reaching the final, lost Dominic Thornely and Greg Lamb cheaply before Dimitri Mascarenhas (42) and Nic Pothas (43*) took them past the 250 mark by sharing a sixth-wicket stand of 73 in 12 overs. But the innings ended tamely with Kirtley bowling Shane Warne, Shaun Udal and James Tomlinson for ducks in his final over.
In the Northern Conference, Leicestershire eased to a four-wicket victory against Yorkshire at Grace Road, with a comfortable 8.2 overs to spare. After being sent into the field, Leicestershire's bowlers hunted in a pack, each of them snaring a wicket to dismiss Yorkshire for 185.
Alamgir Sheriyar continued to impress for his new/old county, trapping Craig White lbw with the very first ball of the innings. Matthew Wood followed quickly after and wickets continued to tumble regularly.
David Masters was the pick of the bowlers, scalping 2 for a measly 22 from ten overs. Only Andrew Gale offered any resistance, stirring a minor storm with 63.
There was no urgency in Leicestershire's innings, but neither was there any need for them to hurry and they knocked off the runs in inevitable fashion, Tim New leading the charge with 51.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Plays of the Day from the second ODI between England and India, in Cardiff
Plays of the day from the third ODI between England and India at Trent Bridge
Plays of the day from the tri-series match between Zimbabwe and South Africa
Would he have fared better than the incumbent middle-order batsmen, Root and Ballance?