Wheal steers Hampshire to one-run victory
HAMPSHIRE stunned hosts Sussex to claim an unlikely one-run victory in the T20 Blast at Hove.
The Sharks appeared well in control when they reached 109 for three in the 15th over, chasing a modest target of 135 against a Hampshire side out of contention for the last eight.
Chris Jordan (one) and Craig Cachopa (five) fell cheaply, but the hosts still looked favourites when Brad Wheal started the final over with five needed.
Will Beer took a single off the first ball from Wheal and Ross Taylor one off the third, before the former ran himself out.
Taylor failed to make contact on the fifth delivery and could only dig the last ball – an excellent yorker – into the leg side, running out Jofra Archer in the process as Sussex finished on 134 for eight.
A full-house crowd was then left wondering how Sussex had managed to throw away a seemingly winning position.
Taylor and Matt Machan were initially bogged down by some accurate bowling by Shahid Arfridi and Liam Dawson, as they scored just 17 runs in five overs.
But then Taylor hit Tino Best for two sixes and in the 14th over Machan plundered two more off Dawson to put Sussex into a strong position.
But Machan (29) was lbw to Wheal in the 16th over after the fourth-wicket pair put on 46 from 35 balls, and ultimately Taylor, who finished with 46 off 47 balls, was left with too much to do.
Earlier, Wheal produced another excellent yorker to remove Luke Wright (nine), while Dawson ended a promising innings by Chris Nash, who was caught in the covers for 32 in the 10th over.
Hampshire’s score of 134 for nine didn’t appear to be enough despite a slow pitch.
They had built themselves a decent platform at 64 for two in the 10th over but Tom Alsop was run out for 25 after a mix-up with Dawson.
Afridi hit his first ball for six and looked in the mood, but he too was needlessly run out after driving the ball into the stumps at the non-striker’s end and setting off for a run that was never there.
The innings declined rapidly after Dawson (25) was well caught at deep mid-wicket in the 16th over by Jordan, who also bowled well to finish with two for 14.
Archer, on debut, also impressed with one for 27, including the wicket of Adam Wheater (17).