This is the opening game for these two sides, as Glamorgan spend four days in the South East, moving on to play Surrey and Middlesex. They had a very disappointing Blast last year, only managing three wins and finishing bottom of the South group, while Sussex reached Finals Day, only to be knocked out in the semi-final by the eventual winners, Kent. The Sharks will undoubtedly have a full house at Hove, but they will not be able to cheer on the enigma that is Rashid Khan, as he will still be involved in the IPL. Australian wicket-keeper, batter Josh Phillipe will be available, although he soon departs for Sri Lanka with the Australia A team.
Sussex have certainly had the upper hand in recent T20 matches against Glamorgan, winning all five of the completed games over the last four years. They have the experienced Ravi Bopara at the helm, alongside Luke Wright, but have lost Phil Salt, Chris Jordan and David Wiese (who played as an overseas in 2021). Ollie Robinson is back playing, but is in the County XI squad playing New Zealand, starting Thursday although he has since pulled out. It is unclear how George Garton is fairing in his battle with long COVID and if he will be available soon.
Glamorgan also have injury troubles and it will be interesting to see how they use the three overseas players available. The original plan was for Marnus Labuschagne to play alongside Colin Ingram, Labuschagne being available until he travels to Sri Lanka for Australia’s upcoming tour. However, injuries to Timm van der Gugten and Ruaidhri Smith mean that their seam options have been depleted. In recent years they have relied heavily on the spin duo of Andrew Salter and Prem Sisodiya and it may be that we see a return of Michael Hogan to the T20 arena. Their strongest seam option would be Australian, Michael Neser, but his inclusion would be at the expense of one of Labuschagne or Ingram. Big hitting all-rounder Dan Douthwaite has the ability to turn matches and his bowling, which can at times be inconsistent, may be an important factor.
Momentum is a commonly used word in relation to this competition and both teams will want to get off to a winning start. The current odds for winning the South Group are Sussex, 9/2 and Glamorgan, 16/1, but the absences in the Sussex squad suggest this will be a closer contest than the games between these two sides in recent years and the odds indicate.
Colin Ingram has had a lean few years, but the 36-year-old South African scored 106 runs in his one Championship outing this season and has looked in good form in the second XI games he has taken part in. He will undoubtedly want to make a mark in what might be his last season before taking on more of a coaching role. There is no doubting his capacity to take bowling attacks apart and Glamorgan fans will be hoping this will be his year.
17-year-old leg-spinner Archie Lenham made history in 2021 when he was the first player to play in the competition, to have been born after the inaugural season of the Twenty20 Cup. His performances in the Blast last year, taking 11 wickets and only conceding 7.46 runs/over earned him a call up to the Southern Brave, although he did not play in the Hundred competition. He took 4/84 in the second innings of Sussex’s last Championship game and they will be hoping that he continues to progress. Undoubtedly he has no better mentor than Khan.
Sussex squad: Tom Alsop, Will Beer, Ravi Bopara (c), Oli Carter, Henry Crocombe, Steve Finn, George Garton, Archie Lenham, Tymal Mills, Josh Philippe, Delray Rawlins, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Harrison Ward, Luke Wright
Glamorgan squad: TBC
Weather and Conditions
The forecast is good for Thursday evening.
This will be the first T20 fixture of the season at Hove, but runs are usually plentiful, with the potential for short boundaries.
Date: 26th May 2022
Ground: County Ground, Hove
Odds (Ladbrokes): Sussex 8/15 Glamorgan 6/4