Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Daniel Sams 71 gives Essex victory over Sussex in high-scoring affair

Essex 244 for 7 (Sams 71) beat Sussex 233 for 6 (Rizwan 66, Bopara 51) by 11 runs

Australian all-rounder Daniel Sams scored his maiden Vitality Blast half-century against Sussex Sharks to give Essex Eagles their highest score of the tournament and their third win in four matches.

Sams hit 71 off just 24 balls, which included six sixes and as many fours, as Essex posted 244 for 7 in Chelmsford after batting.

Mohammad Rizwan scored 66 off 32 to keep the Sharks’ hopes alive, before former Essex star Ravi Bopara scored 51 off 26.

But that was not enough as he was struck at the hands of Sam in the final over and Sussex were reduced to 233 for 6 – setting a blast record of 477 match overall.

Adam Rosington gave the Eagles a quick start, hitting two boundaries off Henry Crocombe and sending his former Middlesex teammate Steven Finn back over the head for successive sixes.

The second of those blows stitched a 50-part partnership with Firoz Khushi (34) inside the fifth over – only for Rossington (35) to pierce the next ball at deep square leg.

Michael Pepper batted with 36 runs, regularly finding the fence and hitting Rashid Khan for a six as the Afghanistan spinner’s first over in this year’s blast went missing for 17 runs.

Rashid recovered to pick up the wicket of Paul Walter, who swung straight to one and missed – but the arrival of Sam began, who immediately proceeded to spoil the Sussexes’ bowling.

The Australian’s clean hitting ensured that one of Tymal Mills’ death overs cost 29 and he and Matt Critchley (34) shared a 51-run stand in just 18 balls, with 76 runs in the last four overs of the innings.

The visitors’ chances of overhauling Essex’s mammoth total rested largely on a lightning start by Rizwan – and the Pakistan star, returning to the team after international duty, did his best to oblige.

Though Luke Wright moved early, pulling Ben Allison to midwicket, Rizwan and Ali Orr (38) put up a 31 to 87 stand, the latter slamming Allison for a trio of sixes in one over.

Rizwan recorded five maximums of his own, including a ferocious swat from Sams who flew off the ground and, despite being pulled in pain and limping shortly before his half-century, he took the Sussexes. maintained with the required rate.

Aron Nijjar claimed Rizwan’s prized skull with his second ball, deceiving him with a flight to win the leg-before appeal – but Tom Alsop (45) and Bopara maintained the chase with a partnership of 69 for 31.

However, once Critchley caught Alsop and Rashid over the boundary in successive deliveries, even Bopara’s heroism was not enough to stop the Sussexes’ fourth straight defeat.

Nation World News Desk
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