Middlesex v Sussex, FP t20, Lord's June 3, 2010

Smith and Yardy keep Sussex on top

Sussex 146 for 6 beat Middlesex 118 for 6 by 28 runs

Holders Sussex continued their impressive defence of the Friends Provident t20 with a comfortable 28-run win over Middlesex in front of more than 15,000 at Lord's.

Most of the spectators had come to see the former Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist make his debut for Middlesex but Gilchrist made just two runs from three balls as his side never threatened to overhaul Sussex's 146 for 6.

Once again Sussex bowled and fielded impressively with skipper Mike Yardy again showing the form with the ball which made him an integral part of England's ICC World Twenty20 success.

Yardy took a wicket with his first delivery when Scott Newman drilled to short midwicket and he struck again in his third over when Neil Dexter holed out to deep midwicket after top-scoring with 27.

Yardy finished with 2 for 17 from his four overs of left-arm spin while England team-mate Luke Wright, who conceded just 16 runs in his spell, was just as impressive.

As the required rate mounted, Middlesex lost wickets regularly. Owais Shah, who had briefly looked capable of chasing down the target when he struck Dwayne Smith into the Mound Stand for six, was caught on the deep midwicket boundary when Smith returned to the attack.

Off-spinner Chris Nash, who had opened the bowling, picked up a wicket in his second over when Gareth Berg missed a reverse-sweep, while Paul Stirling was held at long leg off a top-edged pull at James Kirtley. Dawid Malan was unbeaten on 22 but his efforts were in vain as Middlesex closed on 118 for 6.

It was an impressive comeback by Sussex who had started badly after winning the toss, soon stumbling to 32 for 4 as Pedro Collins picked up two wickets and Ed Joyce was run out against his former county.

But Man of the Match Yardy rebuilt the innings with Smith in a stand of 74 from 51 balls. Smith contributed 49 from 38 balls with three fours and two sixes but even he was inhibited by the two-paced nature of the same pitch used for the first Test last week.

Yardy's 37 from 28 balls kept the scoreboard ticking and at the end he added 34 in 23 balls with Yasir Arafat to take Sussex to a total they always looked liked defending.