Defending champs cruise to a 52 run victory
The Sussex Sharks started their Friends Provident T20 title defence with a 52 run victory over the Somerset Sabres at Hove thanks in part to Twenty20 World Cup winners Mike Yardy and Luke Wright.
The pair played an instrumental role in the victory with Wright scoring 39 runs and Yardy picking up 2 wickets in his 4 over spell which cost in just 17 runs.
Set a total of 156 the Sabres got off to a good start with Marcus Trescothick and Craig Kieswetter enjoying an opening stand of 39 before the Sharks struck back in dramatic fashion.
After such a good start the Sabres lost their way a little losing 4 wickets in the space of 4 overs as the defending champs struck back to leave the visitors 53-4.
With Trescothick (12) departed; Nick Compton (6), Zander de Bryn (1) and James Hildreth all failed with the bat but with Kieswetter still at the crease the Sabres still had a chance of victory.
After staring in the Twenty20 World Cup final against Australia Kieswetter continued his excellent form with the bat building a 5th wicket partnership of 37 with Jos Buttler.
With the momentum now firmly with the Sabres; Ed Joyce produced a moment of brilliance to run Buttler (27) out with a direct hit to change the course of the game.
With the break through made the Sharks picked up the wickets of Kieswetter (47) and Peter Trego (2) soon after to leave the Sabres 99-7 with only 5 overs remaining.
With Kieswetter back in the dug out the Sabres suffered a total collapse losing Ben Phillips (3) Murali Kartik (1) and Mark Turner (1) as they slipped to a 52 run defeat.
Having been put into bat by the Sabres the Sharks reached 155-7 thanks to an aggressive innings by Luke Wright at the start of the innings.
The England World Cup winner scored a quick fire 39 runs from just 19 balls after the defending champs had been put into bat by the Sabres.
After a quite start Wright lit the touch paper to treat the crowd to a display of power hitting which included 6 fours and 2 sixes.
Wright was hitting the ball which such velocity that he brought the Sharks 50 up with a boundary which snapped his bat in two just under the handle.
With a new bat in hand Wright was unable to increase his score after he was caught by Nick Compton in the covers to give Peter Trego the break through at the end of the power play overs to leave the Sharks 58-1.
After such a bright start the home side were restricted by the Sabres slower bowlers with Murali Kartik and Zander de Bryn both picking wickets as Murray Goodwin (30) and Dwyane Smith (0) were both dismissed in the space of two balls.
With two new batsmen at the crease Chris Nash and Ed Joyce built a key partnership of 26 runs to leave the Sharks 105-4 when Nash was caught by Trego out of the boundary.
Joe Gatting offered little adding just 1 run before he became the second victim of Kartik who finished his fours overs with figures of 2-22.
With two quick wickets the Sabres were now on top and they struck again to remove Joyce (14) who was run out at the start of the 15th over to leave the defending champs 109-6 having lost three wickets in the space of 9 balls.
Despite losing skipper Mike Yardy (4); Yasir Arafat (22) and Andy Hodd (18) built an important partnership of 35 from just 19 balls to give the Sharks the slight advantage.