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Sharks snap up home tie

Luke Wright powered 98 from just 48 balls to guarantee Sussex Sharks a home tie in the quarter-finals of the Twenty20 Cup, with a 73-run win over Hampshire Hawks.

Wright's onslaught helped Sharks post their highest score in the competition - 205 for five, after they won the toss before a crowd of 7,000 at Hove.

This was the second biggest total made against Hampshire, and the visitors were never in the hunt and could only manage 132 for eight.

While Sussex's third successive win meant they finished top of the south group, Hampshire came last - with only one win and four defeats from their eight games.

Wright, who came in first wicket down, is now the highest run scorer in the competition - with 298.

The former Leicestershire all-rounder, who thrashed nine fours and six sixes, shared a second-wicket stand of 107 in nine overs with former Zimbabwe star, Murray Goodwin - who made 45.

Wright's half-century arrived from only 27 balls, with six fours and two sixes, and his biggest blow came when he hoisted pace bowler David Griffiths high over midwicket.

The 22-year-old former England under-19s all-rounder looked poised to record his second century in the competition when he drove James Bruce to long-on in the 17th over.

Wright had put on 43 for the fourth wicket with Carl Hopkinson in three overs, and Sussex lost their fifth wicket in the penultimate over when Bruce had Rana Naved-ul-Hasan caught at the wicket.

The hosts lost Chris Nash in the third over when he fell to a juggling catch at backward point off former Sussex pace bowler Billy Taylor, and Goodwin's useful knock ended when he was caught and bowled off a full toss by Adam Voges.

Hampshire openers Michael Brown and Voges got their side off to a decent start by putting on 47 in six overs.

But Voges was then pinned in front by first change James Kirtley, and Mushtaq Ahmed struck in his second over to have Michael Lumb stumped.

Saqlain Mushtaq later removed Brown and Chris Benham in successive balls to claim his first wickets for Sussex and reduce Hampshire to 72 for four.

Former England fast bowler Kirtley dismissed James Adams, Michael Carberry and Bruce in the space of four balls to put the seal on Sussex's convincing win.

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