Eagles collapse hands victory to Sharks
Matt Prior smashed a 26 ball half century to help the Sussex Sharks cruise to a 17 run victory over the Essex Eagles to strengthen their place at the top of the Friends Provident t20 South Group.
Prior enjoyed another blitzing innings; smashing 5 fours and 3 sixes to help the defending champs get off to a rapid start at the County Ground in Chelmsford.
By the time Prior was dismissed the Sharks had reached 65-1 after just 6.3 overs.
With the England wicket keeper back in the dug out Ed Joyce (22), Murray Goodwin (24) and Dwayne Smith (23) added valuable runs to help the sharks reach 174-5.
In reply the Eagles got off to a fantastic thanks to Mark Pettini (59) and Jaik Mickleburgh (32) who shared an opening partnership of 90.
With the Eagles closing in on an apparently easy victory they pressed the self destruct button losing 5 wickets in the space of 4 overs which saw them slump to 118-5.
Pettini was the first to go after he was caught by Joe Gatting out on the boundary to give Chad Keegen the important breakthrough.
With the opening partnership broken the Sharks struck again from the very next ball to remove Matt Walker who was run out with out facing a ball.
Scott Styris (13), Grant Flower (5) and James Foster (2) quickly followed as the Eagles middle order slumped to hand an easy victory to the Sharks.