Sussex fall agonisingly short
South Group leaders Sussex slipped to a two-run Friends Life t20 defeat against Glamorgan at the SWALEC Stadium.
Sussex looked well on course to seal their sixth win in eight games at 78 without loss off 11 overs in response to Glamorgan’s 137 for three.
But Glamorgan, who surprisingly gave part-time spinner Gareth Rees the second over from which 16 runs came, fought back to take four key wickets, including Ben Brown for 42 - bowled by Simon Jones - and Sussex captain Murray Goodwin - bowled by Dean Cosker as he attempted a reverse-sweep.
With six overs remaining Sussex, who were without England internationals Luke Wright and Matt Prior, were left needing 45, but gradually Glamorgan, especially through Jim Allenby and Graham Wagg, turned the screw.
Luke Wells was bowled by a Wagg yorker, leaving Sussex needing 19 from the final 12 balls. Opener Chris Nash, who made an unbeaten 64, and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan were left chasing 13 from the last six balls, which turned out to be five from the final ball.
Nash looked as if he might have hit a boundary from Wagg’s final ball of the match, which would have tied the match, but a good piece of fielding from skipper Alviro Petersen on the boundary restricted Sussex to just two.
The narrow two-run victory has reignited Glamorgan’s hopes of reaching the last eight.
After winning the toss, the Dragons struggled on a sluggish pitch. In a bid to negate the big-hitting Mark Cosgrove, Sussex opened with both spinners, which produced mixed results.
The first over from Ollie Rayner yielded just one run but the next from Monty Panesar disappeared for 16, including a six over long-on by Cosgrove.
But that was a rare expensive over from the Sussex attack which included Pakistan paceman Umar Gul for the first time.
Panesar exacted some revenge when he bowled Cosgrove in the eighth over, but in his next Rees struck the former England slow left-armer for two fours.
Glamorgan’s innings was given some real impetus with two sixes from Petersen in an over from Rayner before Gul trapped Rees leg before.
Sussex were boosted that they had Gul and Rana Naved to bowl the last five overs between them with Glamorgan struggling to deal with yorkers and reverse swing.
Only 33 runs came in those five overs, including the wicket of Petersen, who holed out at long-on, but Glamorgan’s total proved just enough.