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Prior prospers before rain

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Matt Prior blazed 81 from 37 balls as South Group leaders Sussex went on an ultimately futile run-blitz against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.

Heavy rain brought a premature end to the match with Sussex poised for a huge total on 203 for five from 17.4 overs.

Second-placed Hampshire were saved from further punishment by the weather and the one point they take from a no-result ensures they join tonight’s opponents in the last eight.

Sussex are now guaranteed to top the group and will therefore benefit from a home tie in the quarter-finals.

Michael Bates & Matt Prior

Matt Prior takes the aerial route during his blistering 37-ball 81, which ultimately proved in vain as heavy rainfall halted Sussex's innings and prevented Hampshire from beginning their reply at the Ageas Bowl

Hampshire captain Dimitri Mascarenhas chose to field first and must have wondered if he had guessed right under overcast skies as Sussex went on the attack from the first ball.

Chris Nash departed in the first over of the match from Liam Dawson but that brought England Test wicketkeeper Prior and Luke Wright together, and they shared a breathtaking stand of 114 from only 51 balls for the second wicket.

Prior reached his half century off 23 deliveries as only left-arm spinner Danny Briggs escaped the carnage.

Australian Glenn Maxwell broke the partnership when he had Wright caught on the midwicket boundary by James Vince for 38, which included five fours and a six.

The aggressive Prior smashed eleven fours and three maximums before perishing to another catch by Vince on the boundary.
Although Scott Styris made only one before lifting Briggs to Vince again at midwicket, the damage had been done.

Murray Goodwin departed to a catch at deep square-leg by Kabir Ali off the tenacious Briggs but Joe Gatting and Michael Yardy took Sussex beyond 200 before the rain intruded.

Some of the Hampshire bowling figures made for gruesome reading with Mascarenhas conceding 33 off two overs, Kabir Ali 30 off two and Chris Wood 40 from 2.4. Briggs, however, returned 2-28 from four overs.

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