Salt, Wright and Lenham get Sussex Sharks back on track
A first-wicket stand of 144 between Luke Wright (77) and Phil Salt (63) helped Sussex beat Glamorgan by 33 runs in the Vitality Blast.
The two openers guided their side to an imposing total of 201 for eight which was always going to be difficult to chase.
And so it proved as Glamorgan were all out for 168 with David Lloyd making 51. Sussex’s 16-year-old leg spinner and man of the match Archie Lenham continued his fine Blast form with four for 26.
A second defeat in as many days leaves Glamorgan needing a miracle to make the quarter-finals while Sussex remain in the qualification mix.
Sussex won the toss, chose to bat, and made a rollicking start.
Wright smashed a straight six over long on but his opening partner Salt was just as aggressive as Glamorgan’s bowlers were put to the sword.
Sussex reached 77 without loss after just six overs as both batsmen peppered the boundary.
Wright went to 50 from just 24 balls and the 100 came up in only the ninth over. Salt’s half century came from 28 balls with eight fours, but he was finally cleaned up by Dan Douthwaite.
Wright immediately followed him back to the pavilion in the same over when he was caught behind by Chris Cooke for 77 from 41 balls.
Sussex were still primed for a huge score at 154 for one with seven overs to go, but Ravi Bopara made just 12 and their middle order struggled to replicate their opening pair’s heroics.
David Wiese failed and Harrison Ward went first ball, but consecutive sixes from Australian Travis Head (26) helped Sussex past 200.
Douthwaite finished with impressive figures of three for 28.
Glamorgan took 16 and 12 from Mitchell Claydon’s and Tymal Mills’ first overs in response as Lloyd started with a bang. It helped Glamorgan to 61 without loss from the first six overs.
Lloyd was more aggressive than partner Kiran Carlson who was the first to go, caught at long on by Head in Bopara’s first over.
Sussex waited until the eighth over to introduce Lenham, but his first six balls went for just four runs. Glamorgan then needlessly lost Colin Ingram, run out for three.
Lloyd went to 50 from just 27 balls but when he was superbly caught on the square-leg boundary by Will Beer off Lenham, Glamorgan were 82 for three at the halfway stage.
Douthwaite (35) did hit Bopara into the River Taff and the Sophia Gardens changing rooms for back-to-back sixes, but Lenham got him and James Weighell too as Sussex were comfortable winners.
Lenham said: “I just try to bowl my way and pick up a few wickets for the side. I just wanted not to go for a boundary, to keep the run rate down, and hopefully Dan Douthwaite might hit the ball up in the air and get caught. I thought it was going for six at first but David Wiese is a tall guy and it was a great catch in the end.
“It’s pretty amazing. At the start of the season I never thought this would be happening. I was so in the moment when I was bowling at Douthwaite. It’s an amazing experience for me to play in this side and the other players are great to play with.”
by Alex Bywater