Glamorgan 153 for 3 (Northeast 63*, Labuschagne 41) beat Sussex 150 for 6 (Rizwan 81*, Hogan 3-26) by seven wickets
Glamorgan made an impressive start to their Vitality Blast campaign as they eased to a seven-wicket victory over Sussex Sharks at Hove.
After their bowlers had restricted Sussex to 150 for 6, Marnus Labuschagne and Sam Northeast broke the back of the chase with a second-wicket stand of 82. Northeast passed 3000 runs in the format on his way to an undefeated 63 as Glamorgan reached their target with seven balls to spare. It was only the second time they had won a T20 game on Sussex soil and the first at Hove.
Sussex’s score would have been a lot less but for an excellent innings by Mohammad Rizwan, who batted through the innings for an unbeaten 81.
The 29-year-old was making his Blast debut and showed all the skills that have taken him to third in the ICC world rankings, hitting three sixes and six fours and facing 60 balls.
The problem was at the other end where the next highest score was Luke Wright’s 13. Wright, who stepped down as captain earlier this year, played on to Michael Hogan in the third over and Sussex suffered another blow in the next when Michael Neser’s brilliant pick-up and throw from deep backward square beat debutant Josh Philippe’s dive as he came back for a second run.
Mohammad Rizwan got his Sussex stint off to a flyer•Getty Images
Wright’s successor, Ravi Bopara, helped Rizwan take the score to 71 in the ninth over and they appeared to be building a decent platform. But Bopara was furious with himself after driving left-arm spinner Prem Sisodiya to long off and Hogan became Glamorgan’s second-highest T20 wicket-taker when Delray Rawlins holed out to long on. Hogan now has 96 wickets, four behind Dean Cosker.
Sussex continued to give wickets away carelessly. George Garton upper-cut Dan Douthwaite to third man but Rizwan looked untroubled at the other end. His fifty came up off 40 balls, the best of his sixes an effortless pick-up over deep backward square off Neser which sailed out of the ground.
He put on 47 in 6.2 overs with Harrison Ward, but Sussex lost momentum in the 18th over when Douthwaite bowled five dot balls in a row and Ward could only take a single off the sixth. Will Beer lofted Neser over long-on but, in front of a disappointing crowd of 2209, the hosts’ 150 did not look nearly enough.
David Lloyd played on to Steve Finn in the second over and although Glamorgan’s powerplay score of 60 for 1 was only six runs better than Sussex, Labuschagne and Northeast had the chase under control.
They added 82 in 10.1 overs of risk-free accumulation, and it was a surprise when Labuschagne fell on 41 to a running catch by Ward trying to hit Rawlins’ left-arm spin over deep mid-wicket. Northeast reached his 21st fifty in the format with a spectacular uppercut over the deep point boundary off Mills and fittingly struck the winning boundary off Bopara, his runs coming off 52 balls with three fours and two sixes.