South Group (D/N), Hove, June 20, 2024, Vitality Blast
(20 ov, T:202) 170/7

Sussex won by 31 runs


Harrison Ward does it again as Sussex make it five wins from seven

Sam Billings fifty in vain as Kent lose fourth game on the trot

Harrison Ward in action, Vitality T20 Blast, Sussex Sharks vs Essex Eagles, Hove, July 01, 2022

Harrison Ward guides Sussex to victory  •  Getty Images

Sussex 201 for 7 (Ward 61, Lamb 40, Parkinson 3-31) beat Kent 170 for 7 (Billings 51, Bell-Drummond 37, Evison 34*, Lamb 3-37) by 31 runs
Sussex Sharks made it five wins out of seven in the Vitality Blast when they defeated Kent's Spitfires by 31 runs at The 1st Central County Ground in Hove. But for Kent this was a fourth defeat in as many games.
Kent's challenge, to score 202, was always a daunting one, the more so after Zak Crawley was bowled by Ollie Robinson for 4 in the opening over - the England opener's sixth consecutive failure to reach double figures. Robinson was also unlucky not to have Marcus O'Riordan lbw in the same over.
But when O'Riordan was out in the second over, edging Nathan McAndrew to first slip, everything appeared to depend on Daniel Bell-Drummond and skipper Sam Billings, because there was a lack of experience in Kent's late middle-order.
Bell-Drummond and Billings looked the part as they added 93 for the third wicket. And when James Coles went for 19 in one over, and also dropped Bell-Drummond, a steepling catch, it looked a possible turning point. But Sussex captain Tymal Mills responded by bringing himself on at the other end and immediately bowled the Kent batter.
That moved Billings firmly centre stage. But in the next over he sent a lofted drive to Robinson at wide long-off and the match looked over, despite a spirited knock from Joey Evison and a quick 18 from former Sussex player Harry Finch. Danny Lamb completed an impressive all-round match with figures of 3 for 37.
Earlier Kent, who chose to field, made a good start when they conceded just three runs off the opening two overs. But the next four overs went for 19, 13, 16 and 17 as Sussex reached 68 without loss from the powerplay.
In those six overs Daniel Hughes faced just nine deliveries. But Harrison Ward, showing form and confidence after his 68 at Chelmsford on Friday, made up for at the other end. He reached his fifty from just 24 balls, with some long hitting, both straight and to the short boundary on the left-hander's leg side.
Kent broke through in the seventh over when Hughes, who had swung Matt Parkinson for two sixes, was well caught by Bell-Drummond at long-leg as he attempted a third. Ward followed in the next over, caught by Finch on the deep midwicket boundary. He had made 61 off 28 deliveries, with six fours and five sixes.
The Kent fightback continued when Beyers Swanepoel bowled John Simpson for three in the ninth and in the next over Tom Alsop was lbw to Parkinson for just 2, a very tight decision. When Coles gave Parkinson his third wicket, also lbw, for 21, Sussex had lost five wickets for just 36 runs.
But some late hitting by Lamb, who managed 40 from 32 balls, saw Sussex past 200. Kent, for the most part, bowled well in discouraging conditions. But Swanepoel (1 for 53) and Grant Stewart (0 for 51) were disappointing.

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