Ross Taylor’s terrific 62 led the way as Sussex beat Kent by four wickets with just three balls to spare at Hove.
Taylor hit 62 from 50 balls as Sussex successfully chased Kent’s 140 all out after Chris Jordan starred with the ball taking 3-18, whilst Tymal Mills returned 3-15. Sam Northeast hit a captain’s innings of 53 for Kent, but it wasn’t enough for the visitors.
Sussex put Kent into bat after winning the toss on a pleasant Friday evening on the south coast and, whilst Daniel Bell-Drummond hooked Tymal mills for six in the second over, Joe Denly took nine balls to get off the mark before chipping one over mid-on for four.
Denly didn’t last much longer as after hitting David Wiese for four, top edged one straight up and was caught and bowled by Wiese for 11.
Bell-Drummond made the same mistake in the next over as he hit Jordan for four before being bowled next ball for 17.
Northeast was just getting going at the other, smashing Danny Briggs’ first ball for six over the tents at Hove, when Tom Latham went for just 12, holing out to Will Beer. This left Kent with a precarious 64-3.
Kent were 66-3 after ten, but 13 off Biggs’ second over got the innings motoring as Northeast hit his second six. Kent’s captain was at it again when he smashed another maximum, this time off the bowling of Will Beer.
Sam Billings was partnering Northeast and, after they’d put on 35 for the fourth wicket, the England international was trapped LBW to Beer for ten.
That brought Darren Stevens to the crease, who wasted no time by racing to 15 from eight balls and, after smashing ten from two balls to go to fifty, the Kent skipper went for one shot too many and top edged a Wiese delivery to Chris Nash at point to depart for 53 from just 33 balls.
That left the score 113-5, Jordan and Mills took over as the former removed Alex Blake and Stevens late on before Mills took two wickets in the last over to bowl Kent out for 140.
Despite a low total to defend, Matt Coles got Kent off to a good start as Luke Wright went for three in the second over after a leading edge proved to be his downfall.
Chris Nash also went before the end of the powerplay for 15 as Sussex found themselves struggling at 28-2 after six overs.
But the experienced Taylor put on a steady 35 with Ben Brown for the third wicket before Brown was bowled by Mitch Claydon for a run-a-ball 26.
Taylor hit his first boundary in the tenth over, just the third of the whole innings, as Sussex were 66-3 after 11 overs. That brought Jordan to the crease and after just 18 runs in the next four overs, Sussex needed 53 off the last five.
Taylor set about that by hitting 17 off James Tredwell’s final over which took the Kiwi to 50 from a steady 41 balls.
13 more came off the 18th over thanks to a David Griffiths no ball and two misfields from Alex Blake and despite a fantastic 19th over from Claydon that saw the wickets of Taylor and Jordan, Sussex needed eight off the last over.
Taylor went thanks to a brilliant diving catch from Tredwell at mid-on, but David Wiese smashed ten from four balls including successive fours to see Sussex home with three balls to spare.