Middlesex Panthers won for only the second time in the Royal London One-Day Cup despite rain ruining their run-chase against Sussex Sharks in the Group B encounter at the BrightonandHoveJobs.com County Ground.
Chasing 249, Middlesex were 81 for one in the 18th over when the wet weather arrived and umpires Martin Saggers and George Sharp abandoned play at 8.40pm with the visitors winning by 21 runs on the Duckworth/Lewis method.
It was only their second win in the last 12 List-A meetings between the teams at this ground.
Mindful of the forecast, openers Chris Rogers and Dawid Malan adopted a risk-free approach to the reply and had added 70 for the first wicket when the latter was caught behind off Steffan Piolet for 33, trying to run the ball to third man with an open face.
Paul Stirling was dropped on one by Will Beer when he drove powerfully to point off Piolet while Rogers was undefeated on 34 when the heavens opened.
— Sussex CCC (@SussexCCC) August 8, 2014
It was a frustrating night for Sussex who were looking to build on back-to-back wins earlier in the week and lift themselves into contention for a top-four finish.
On a used pitch they had the benefit of winning the toss and were in a strong position with 18 overs to go at 174 for three with Craig Cachopa and Matt Machan having added 52 for the fourth wicket.
But the innings went into a tailspin after Cachopa was caught behind for 24 driving at Malan's off-breaks.
Seven wickets fell in the next 15 overs for 50 runs and it needed some boisterous hitting by Piolet and Lewis Hatchett for the last wicket to take them to 248 for nine.
Sussex lost the in-form Luke Wright early, the first of four victims for Toby Roland-Jones, but Chris Nash and Ed Joyce added 102 in 20 overs with Nash reaching his first fifty in the competition this season.
— Middlesex Cricket (@Middlesex_CCC) August 8, 2014
He went to 65 with his third six, a pull over midwicket off Neil Dexter, but perished to the next ball attempting to repeat the shot.
Joyce lost his off stump to spinner Ollie Rayner in the 23rd over but Sussex rebuilt after the loss of those two wickets in four balls through Cachopa and Machan.
Malan dropped a difficult return catch offered by Cachopa on 23 although it did not prove expensive. He added just a single when he drove expansively at the same bowler and was caught behind.
Machan, with 40, batted sensibly with the lower order until he was seventh out, well caught one-handed at short midwicket by Rayner, while Roland-Jones picked up three wickets in an impressive second spell as Yasir Arafat, Beer and Chris Liddle were all bowled, the latter two off successive deliveries.
The seamer finished with 4-42 and there were still 26 balls left when last man Hatchett joined Piolet to add 24 with the former Warwickshire all-rounder, on his 26th birthday, unbeaten on 33 from 45 deliveries with five fours.