Wright ends Sharks' Hove hoodoo
Luke Wright smashed 114 off just 69 balls as Sussex Sharks cruised to a nine-wicket win over the Netherlands in their Yorkshire Bank 40 game at the BrightonandHoveJobs.com County Ground.
Sussex's fourth win in Group C is unlikely to improve their chances of reaching the knockout stages for the third successive year but they at least managed to end a winless run at Hove which had extended for two days short of a year.
Wright and Ed Joyce put on 175 in 20 overs for the first wicket, with the former cruising to the sixth List A hundred of his career and second of the summer after he made 115 against Kent in June.
The 28-year-old is to lead England Lions in three matches against Bangladesh A later next week and he ruthlessly took on the Dutch attack with an impressive display of hitting against both seam and spin.
He struck five sixes, either straight or on the leg-side, and reached his century with his 11th four, a powerful back-foot force through extra cover off Tim Gruitjers.
Gruitjers did have the satisfaction of removing Wright thanks to a superb running catch on the long-on boundary by Pieter Seelar, but it was a rare moment of relief for the seven Dutch bowlers used, none of whom had an economy rate of less than seven an over.
Skipper Joyce hit the winning runs in the 22nd over to reach a 58-ball half-century.
The Netherlands hoped to build on Sunday's encouraging win over Warwickshire Bears and having won the toss they were well placed after 22 overs on 125 for three.
But the dismissal of top scorer Wesley Barresi sparked a collapse, which saw seven wickets go down for 60 runs in 14.2 overs.
Barresi shared a stand of 50 from 35 balls with Gruitjers when he was leg before to Will Beer for a run-a-ball 64, which included seven fours and a six.
Three deliveries later Peter Borren was trapped in his crease by Chris Liddle and Dutch wickets fell regularly after that, although Gruitjers hinted at a recovery with 27 before he was stumped down the leg-side by debutant Callum Jackson to give Beer, who finished with 3-49, another wicket.
It was a good night for the Sussex spinners. On a slow pitch, Mike Yardy and Chris Nash were operating in tandem after nine overs.
Off-spinner Nash picked up Michael Swart to a catch on the midwicket boundary after the opener added 44 for the second wicket alongside Barresi following the early loss of Stephan Myburgh.
Nash, Liddle and Lewis Hatchett all picked up two wickets and a target of 186 was never going to be a test for Sussex, especially after Wright and Joyce plundered 71 off the first six-over power play.
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