Sussex 175 for 6 (Wright 49, Jordan 37, Overton 2-33) beat Somerset 170 for 8 (Allenby 79, Beer 3 for 23) by five runs
Will Beer and Michael Yardy bowled Sussex to a five-run NatWest T20 Blast victory over Somerset at Taunton. The two spinners shared five wickets for 46 runs as the hosts plunged from a promising 78 for 1 to 96 for 6, chasing what looked a reasonable target of 176. Beer claimed 3 for 23 and Yardy 2 for 23.
Somerset were eventually restricted to 170 for 8, Jim Allenby marking his T20 debut for the club with 79, including seven fours and three sixes. Earlier, Luke Wright, Mahela Jayawardene and Chris Jordan had ensured Sussex of a competitive 175 for 6, while another spinner, Max Waller, conceded only 20 from four overs.
After the early loss of Chris Nash, leg before to a full ball from Alfonso Thomas, Sussex soon gathered momentum through Wright and Jayawardene, who took the score to 62 by the end of the six overs of Powerplay.
Jayawardene looked in great form and had hit four fours and two sixes in facing just 23 balls when well caught by the diving Tom Cooper at short third-man off Allenby in the eighth over.
Still the visitors flourished until in the 13th over, bowled by Jamie Overton, two sensational catches off successive balls interrupted their progress. First Lewis Gregory raced in from the cover boundary as Wright skied in his direction, eventually talking the ball inches off the ground. Then, after the batsmen had crossed, Allenby dived to grab the ball one-handed as Craig Cachopa slashed to point.
Wright had hit four fours and two sixes in his 35-ball innings. With Waller bowling tightly at the River End, Somerset at last gained a measure of control until Jordan's late assault. The powerful allrounder blasted three fours and two sixes to ensure a respectable total, despite some impressive bowling from Sohail Tanvir (1 for 28) on debut.
Somerset looked favourites when Marcus Trescothick and Peter Trego helped Allenby give them a decent start, which saw 54 come off the first six overs. But the course of the game changed in the ninth over when Trego carelessly pulled a short ball from Yardy straight to Jordan at midwicket.
Yardy and Beer then took control, the former removing James Hildreth to a catch at the wicket, while the latter sent back Tom Cooper, Sohail Tanvir and Lewis Gregory in quick succession with a superb spell from the River End.
Allenby watched the procession before moving to a fluent 39-ball half-century, with six fours and a six. Abdur Rehman produced some lusty blows in belated support, but it was too little too late and 31 were needed off the final two overs.
Jordan made sure of victory by having Rehman caught at cover for 24 while conceding only seven off the 19th and Allenby was left frustrated after a fine individual effort, ended when he was run out in the final over. Waller came in to hit a six off his first ball, but with another maximum needed to tie the game, he could score only a single.