Styris revels in breathtaking display
Scott Styris was proud to contribute a phenomenal starring role as Sussex booked their place at Friends Life t20 finals day last night.
The veteran New Zealand all-rounder put Gloucestershire’s bowlers to the sword as he blugeoned 100 not out from 37 deliveries - the equal third-fastest century in Twenty20 history - to set up a 39-run victory at the PROBIZ County Ground.
The hosts had been in trouble on three for two after seven balls as openers Chris Nash and Luke Wright fell with a run apiece to their names, but half centuries from Matt Prior and Murray Goodwin laid the foundations for Styris’ pyrotechnics, which featured 38 from one James Fuller over.
“It’s always nice in a big game, a knockout game, to get a score and get man of the match to get us across the line,” the 37-year-old told ecb.co.uk.
“Our guys here have been playing really well in all three formats of the game lately, so it’s nice to make another finals day and at least put us in with a chance to win another trophy.”
Ominously for their opponents at the SWALEC Stadium next month - Somerset beat Essex at Taunton to book their place ahead of tonight’s remaining quarter-finals - Styris feels Sussex can make improvements, especially in the bowling department.
“It was very duey out there and hard to hold onto the ball. I don’t think we’ll bowl that badly again, I think we’ll get better than that,” he said.
“But I though we did really well to keep them below that (Sussex’s total). I know with 230 on the board it’s easy enough to say.
“It was difficult, particulalry going in with a lot of slow bowlers, to grip the ball. I think we’ll get better for finals day and that’s a good sign.”
Sussex captain Mike Yardy paid tribute to his experienced middle order, who prevented an early wobble from turning into a crisis.
“You’ve got a three, four, five of Matt Prior, whose played god knows how many Test matches, Murray Goodwin has a lot of experience, as Scott Styris has in Twenty20 and Test cricket,” he told ecb.co.uk
“We know that we’ve not just got good strikers and good players, but they know how to play situations and know how their own games work.
“The batting was outstanding. We got a score of probably 50 over par so it was a fantastic effort and the way we’ve played has been electric to watch. It’s been really entertaining just sitting in the dugout and watching the guys go.”
Much of that electricity came courtesy of Styris last night and Yardy was only too happy to join in with the plaudits.
“It was as good an innings as you’ll see of striking a cricket ball,” he added. “ I’ve seen him do it a few times before for Essex - he’s done it a couple of times against us.
“It’s really unbelievable to see and that’s why we wanted to bring him here.”