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Goodwin leads Sharks through to Final

Murray Goodwin hit an unbeaten 80 off 67 balls as Sussex cruised into the Twenty20 Cup final with a seven-wicket victory over Northants at Edgbaston.

The former Zimbabwe Test player shared a stand of 91 with Rory Hamilton-Brown, who made 29, and saw his side home on 137-3 with two deliveries to spare.

Northants made a positive start to the game, thanks to Ian Harvey's rapid 21.

But they lost momentum mid-innings and despite Nicky Boje's unbeaten 34, their total of 136-6 was insufficient.

It was a generally disappointing effort by the Steelbacks in their first appearance on finals day and although the game went down to the final over, Sussex won through with a degree of comfort.

After Harvey hit four fours in a 15-ball cameo which ended when he chopped an off-cutter from James Kirtley into his stumps, Sussex succeeded in strangling the scoring rate on a pitch which offered turn for spinners Michael Yardy and Will Beer.

The Sussex reply was ignited in the third over when Luke Wright, after a lucky inside edge to the fine leg boundary, forced Johan van der Wath through the covers for another and then pulled a short ball for six.

Wright perished for 18 in the next over, giving an easy catch to mid-off as Hall made the breakthrough, but Goodwin put away any loose balls which came his way to keep the scoreboard ticking over and the Sharks were in control after Hamilton-Brown hammered a ball from Lee Daggett for six in the eighth over.

Northants looked flat in the field and when David Willey dropped Hamilton-Brown off his bowling, the impression that it was not to be their day intensified.

Goodwin reached his half century off 43 balls in the same over with his seventh boundary and at the end of the 17th over, the south coast side were only 16 short of their target.

Hall and van der Wath gave Northants a glimmer of hope with the wickets of Hamilton-Brown and Dwayne Smith, but it was too little too late and it was fitting that Goodwin should be the man to strike the winning run.

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