Joyce and Nash star for Sussex
Sussex 361 for 6 (Joyce 128, Nash 120) beat Fly Emirates XI 190 (Fernandes 38, Beer 2-34, Nash 2-11) by 171 runs
Ed Joyce posted his first hundred for Sussex and the highest score of the Pro Arch Trophy tournament to date as Sussex thrashed Fly Emirates by 171 runs at the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium.
Throughout his 119-ball 128, Joyce remained cool and calm despite temperatures approaching 90 degrees in the middle - that is, until his first rash shot saw him stumped by a couple of yards when aiming for a fourth six. He was third out with 247 on the board. Joyce featured in stands worth 104 in 16 overs with Rory Hamilton-Brown (47) and then a remarkable third-wicket partnership with Chris Nash of 128 in 19 overs against a relatively toothless Emirates attack. All three Sussex batsmen showed excellent stamina and judgement when running between the wickets.
"Coming into this tour I was just looking to establish myself with my new team-mates," said Joyce, who joined Sussex from Middlesex in the off-season. "I've never changed clubs before, so it's all a fresh experience for me, it's a new bunch of guys who I didn't know that well, so it's been good to introduce myself to them and great to get the monkey off my back by getting a big score under my belt.
"I'm glad I did that today and if I play in our next couple of games I'd hope to back up this hundred and give myself a bit of a boost going into the season and maybe earn the respect of my new team-mates.
"I was pleased with the patience element to this innings today. It's tempting, particularly when you open the batting, to try and dictate and dominate, but Rory (Hamilton-Brown) helped me out with that because he played really positively and that took the pressure off me. I just played my own game."
After Joyce's demise, Nash took up the attacking mantle to clatter 120 from just 84 balls including seven fours and five sixes, one of which sailed over the Western Union Stand and out onto Airport Road that skirts this stadium of faded grandeur. Nash's second 50 came from only 25 balls and though he perished soon afterwards, Sussex were already well on their way to an impressive 50- over total of 361 for 6 - a record for this event which is celebrating its third year.
Fly Emirates, a team of amateur cricketers who all work for the airline of the same name, went gung ho in pursuit of the 7.2 an over asking rate but lost wickets at regular intervals as a result of their laissez-faire. Acting captain James Kirtley snuck through with two early wickets and then introduced spin at both ends to tease out the rest. Chris Beer, the young legspinner, took 2 for 34 while Nash completed a fine day by taking 2 for 11.
Mark Pennell is a freelance journalist who is covering the Pro Arch Trophy for Cricinfo