Gatting guides Sussex home
Joe Gatting led Sussex to a six-wicket victory over Surrey in their final match of this year's Emirates Airline Pro ARCH Trophy in Abu Dhabi.
Gatting, nephew of Mike, joined Sussex's academy on a one-year deal at the start of this season and impressed for the county immediately, making 110 off 136 balls to help take Sussex to 257 for four.
The former Brighton and Hove Albion footballer struck eight fours and three sixes, as he followed in his uncle's footsteps with some powerful hitting, to which Surrey's attack had no answer.
Michael Brown, captaining the side in the absence of Mark Butcher and Usman Afzaal, had earlier hit his first hundred for Surrey as they reached 255 for four.
Brown's innings lasted 129 balls and contained six fours before he holed out to Ragheb Aga at long-on off Chris Liddle for 101.
The skipper put on 114 for the first wicket with makeshift opener Matt Spriegel, before the latter was run-out by his partner for an excellent 58.
Brown also combined in an 80-run partnership with Chris Murtagh, who contributed 32, as Surrey aimed to increase the pace of their innings.
Some tight bowling from spinners Michael Yardy and Rory Hamilton-Brown did not let Surrey get away, however, with the latter striking Murtagh plumb in front to end his 43-ball innings.
Gatting was sent in to open the Sussex innings alongside Ed Joyce and the two put on 125 before the latter was caught by Laurie Evans at cover for 50 off Murtaza Hussain.
Hamilton-Brown was the second wicket to fall, when he tried to launch the ball over the straight boundary and picked out substitute fielder Scott Newman at long-on.
Spriegel and Hussain kept the runs down in the middle of the innings as spinners proved to play a major part in the match, but Gatting eventually broke the shackles with two sixes over long-on as he neared his hundred.
The milestone came up off 128 balls, after he had spent 140 minutes at the crease, with Simon King particularly harshly treated by the young batsman – his 7.5 overs going for 62 runs.
It took the introduction of Evans into the attack to see the end of Gatting, when he slog-swept his fifth ball straight to Jordan at deep square leg, with 56 runs still needed.
Murtaza got his second wicket when he bowled Andrew Hodd for 21, giving the off-spinner figures of 2-29 from his nine overs.
However, it was not enough for Surrey to avoid the wooden spoon of the six counties playing in the tournament.
Sussex romped home with 4.1 overs to spare, with Ben Brown finishing the match with two sixes to end unbeaten on 24 from 10 balls.