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Cooke has birthday to remember

An unbeaten 65 from birthday boy Chris Cooke helped Glamorgan beat Sussex by five wickets in the NatWest T20 Blast on Friday night.

West Indies all-rounder Darren Sammy, who signed for Glamorgan this week, hit the winning runs at the SWALEC Stadium but it was Cooke who ensured a successful chase by finding the boundary 12 times.

Jacques Rudolph put together a half-century for the Welsh county off 44 balls while Matt Prior and Ed Joyce top-scored for Sussex with 39 runs each.

Graham Wagg, Michael Hogan and Jim Allenby claimed two wickets apiece in Cardiff, but the Sharks would suffer a second consecutive defeat.

Hogan made the breakthrough by removing Luke Wright - caught at square leg by namesake Ben Wright - for 22.

Sussex were 79 for one with 10 overs played thanks to experienced batsmen Joyce and Prior, but the former soon had his middle stump flattened by Allenby.

The Glamorgan captain took his second wicket in five deliveries when removing fit-again Prior, with Murray Goodwin taking the catch at gully.

Then, with Sussex on 134 for four, Chris Nash was caught in the covers for nine by Wagg off Dean Cosker.

Wagg removed both Rory Hamilton-Brown and Yasir Arafat with consecutive balls, yet Sussex survived the hat-trick ball and reached 170 for six with two boundaries from Ben Brown.

The Crawley-born wicketkeeper departed to Hogan for 26 in 20th over, but four runs from Steffan Piolet meant Sussex closed on 178 for seven.

After a couple of slow overs Allenby crashed the ball over midwicket for six and Glamorgan were soon only 140 shy of their target without loss.

When Allenby was caught behind by Prior off Michael Yardy for 26 it fell to Rudolph to keep the runs ticking over.

The South African helped Glamorgan reach 74 for one just before Goodwin departed when caught by Piolet off Chris Liddle for eight.

The run chase took a hit when Nash claimed Mark Wallace's wicket for a single run - the Glamorgan man was caught at long leg by Luke Wright.

Cooke - celebrating his 28th birthday - then joined Rudolph at the crease and the latter soon brought up his fifty.

Shortly after Rudolph was caught by Joyce in the deep off Piolet, his replacement Ben Wright fell foul of the Sussex bowler and departed for 15.

Yet Cooke remained on strike and kept finding the boundary rope to reach his half-century from just 25 balls.

His exploits meant Glamorgan needed only 13 runs off the last 10 balls and, while the Sharks took it down to the last ball, debutant Sammy knocked off the runs to record his side's second victory from three Blast fixtures.

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