Murray Goodwin leads Sussex rampage
Sussex 136 for 1 beat Hampshire 132 for 8 by nine wickets
Sussex Sharks remain in control of the Twenty20 South Group after thrashing Hampshire Royals by nine wickets at Hove. The reigning champions are on course for the knockout stages again after recording their sixth win in seven games as they chased down a target of 133 in just 11.4 overs.
Matt Prior fell for a golden duck, stumped by Nic Pothas off the bowling of slow left-armer Danny Briggs in the first over, but that was as good as it got for the Royals as Brendon McCullum and captain Murray Goodwin went on the rampage.
Goodwin smashed 76 from just 35 balls, winning the match with a six off Dominic Cork - the second of his innings - to add to 11 boundaries. McCullum lost little in comparison as he hammered 59 from 33 deliveries with six fours and four sixes, his first half-century in his short stint with the Sharks.
At one stage Sussex scored 31 runs from just eight balls as seamer Chris Wood's second over disappeared for 21 and McCullum hit the first two deliveries of the next from Briggs for six and four.
An understrength Royals' attack had no answer and after picking up just two wins from five games so far they are already struggling to make the knockout stages. Sussex had earlier produced an excellent bowling performance to restrict the Royals to 132 for 8 after visiting skipper Cork had won the toss.
Goodwin sprung a surprise by opening with his two slow bowlers and it paid off when off-spinner Ollie Rayner, making his first appearance in the competition for nearly four years, struck in his first over as Michael Lumb's wretched form continued when the World Twenty20 winner drove to mid on.
Jimmy Adams, who had scored a century against Surrey on Sunday, looked in the mood to make another hefty contribution, quickly moving to 31 with three fours and a six. But he failed to make his ground when sent back by Michael Carberry and was run out by McCullum's under-arm throw from backward point.
Dwayne Smith then picked up wickets in successive overs with Sean Ervine beaten by extra pace and bounce while Michael Carberry cut to backward point. When Australian Dan Christian was leg before on the walk to offspinner Chris Nash the Royals were 76 for 5 and struggling.
They were revived by a stand of 45 from 33 balls between South African Neil McKenzie and Nic Pothas, with McKenzie top scoring with 40 from 35 deliveries. He should have been run out on 32 and Sussex also dropped three catches, but James Kirtley and Chad Keegan bowled superbly at the end of the innings with only 26 runs scored in the last four overs.
McKenzie was deceived by Keegan's slow bouncer and the former Middlesex quick then bowled Wood to finish with 2 for 22 while Kirtley had Pothas taken at deep point in the final over to further stall Hampshire's momentum.