Five-star Liddle gives Sharks bite
Chris Liddle bowled a sensational penultimate over to help Sussex clinch an 11-run South Group victory over Middlesex at Lord's in the Friends Life t20.
Liddle took three wickets in four balls to finish with career-best figures of 5-17 and wreck Middlesex's hopes of chasing down Sussex's total of 143 for eight.
Toby Roland-Jones, who took 2-19, and Gareth Berg, with 3-17, had Sussex in trouble after they had won the toss but they fought back from 26 for three to post a competitive total thanks to Murray Goodwin’s 43 and 48 from Scott Styris.
Sussex made a terrible start after winning the toss and lost Luke Wright, Matt Machan and Chris Nash inside the opening six overs.
Steven Crook had Wright caught at the wicket for just one and Machan lobbed a simple catch off the same bowler to mid-off for six as Crook finished with figures of 2-29.
Joe Gatting and Goodwin began the fightback by putting on 30 in 21 balls before Tom Smith beat a tentative defensive prod to bowl the former for 11.
Goodwin has had an indifferent season but came to Sussex's rescue by adding 56 with Styris before being bowled by Roland-Jones.
Styris made the most of being dropped by Dawid Malan on 25 but fell just short of his half-century when he hit Roland-Jones straight to Berg at extra-cover on 48.
Sussex's innings tailed off after that, with Berg picking up the wickets of Ben Brown and Michael Yardy in the final over.
Liddle made the initial breakthrough by having Joe Denly caught at long-off while Paul Stirling also went cheaply.
Malan top-scored with 38 before he picked out Goodwin on the boundary off spinner Will Beer.
Berg and Neil Dexter put on 53 for the fourth wicket before Liddle returned to end their partnership by fooling the former with a slower ball that he lobbed straight to point for 23.
Middlesex still looked favourites until Liddle produced some fireworks in the 19th over by removing Dexter for 36, John Simpson for 10 and Chris Rogers for a first-ball duck.