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Skipper earns Lions crucial win

Friends Life t20

Rory Hamilton-Brown

Rory Hamilton-Brown struck an unbeaten 87 as Surrey earnt a priceless win over Sussex

Surrey Lions kept their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Friends Provident t20 alive with an emphatic eight-wicket win over South Group leaders Sussex Sharks at Arundel.

Skipper Rory Hamilton-Brown hit an unbeaten 87 as the Lions chased down Sussex's total of 121 for eight with eight wickets and 10 balls to spare.

Sussex remain top of the table on run rate and, despite a fourth defeat in five games, are guaranteed a place in the quarter-finals thanks to results elsewhere.

The home side's hopes of setting a big total after winning the toss were hit as they lost a wicket in each of the opening four overs.

Matt Prior was caught on the boundary by Gary Wilson in the first over from Andrew Symonds and Ed Joyce followed when he was bowled by Chris Tremlett.

Chris Nash was lbw first ball to Symonds, who finished with figures of 2-18, and Murray Goodwin was caught behind off Tremlett to leave Sussex on 20 for four.

Dwayne Smith hit a quickfire 21 before he was lbw to Chris Schofield, who also had Joe Gatting caught on the long on boundary for 16 to finish with figures of 2-15.

Only some stubborn batting from Ollie Rayner and Chad Keegan ensured Sussex were not dismissed for under 100. The pair put on 36 for the eighth wicket with Keegan making 26 and Rayner 25.

Sussex needed early wickets if they were to stand a chance but James Kirtley dropped Hamilton-Brown at mid-off when he had made just four.

The Surrey skipper made Sussex pay as he dominated a first-wicket stand of 41 with Steve Davies.

The introduction of spinners Rayner and Will Beer gave Sussex brief hope as they picked up the wickets of Davies and Jason Roy in quick succession.

Stewart Walters joined Hamilton-Brown to snuff out any chance of an unlikely win for Surrey as the pair put on 80 for the third wicket with Hamilton-Brown bringing up his 50 off 42 balls with five fours and a six.

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