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Mark Pennell in Dubai
March 20, 2010
Sussex 101 (Gatting 33, Spriegel 4 for 12) beat Surrey 67 (Hamilton-Brown 27, Rayner 4 for 7, Beer 4 for 17) by 34 runs
Sussex extended their unbeaten record to three matches after skittling Surrey inside 16 overs for a paltry 67 to win the first county head-to-head in Dubai by 34 runs.
The low-scoring Emirates Airline Twenty20 clash proved a tense affair played out on pitch that had been watered in the twilight hours and allowed to bake in near 40-degree temperatures leading up to the match.
With two wins on the opening day of this inaugural festival, Sussex started slight favourites, especially so once they won the toss and elected to bat first to enjoy the best of the pitch and the coolest conditions of the day.
Sussex's openers Joe Gatting and Ollie Rayner posted 30 with Gatting catching the eye by dancing down the pitch to drive consecutive Jade Dernbach deliveries for four through the covers. But once he went for 33 off 28 balls Sussex's innings simply unravelled in the face of a joint spin threat of Matthew Spriegel and Gareth Batty who claimed 4 for 12 and 3 for 17 respectively as Sussex succumbed in 19 overs.
Only Ben Brown (10) and Chris Nash (18) limped into double figures and Surrey left the field in buoyant mood feeling that a run chase at 5.1 an over would be well within their compass despite a rapidly deteriorating pitch. How wrong they were.
In the event, only their opening batsman and captain Rory Hamilton-Brown with 27 from 23 balls, made it into double figures, indeed his three fours and a six were the only boundaries in Surrey's toothless reply.
Tall offspinner Rayner got the odd one to shoot and turn as he swept through the middle order with 4 for 7 off 21 balls while diminutive legspinner Beer enjoyed plenty of turn to bag 3 for 17 in his four overs as Sussex secured victory with 27 balls to spare.
With two defeats already to their name, Surrey will need a minor run-rate miracle in the last qualifying game in order to make tonight's final when Sussex seem likely to face South African opposition in the form of the Emerging Cape Cobras.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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