Joyce and Machan propel Sussex
Ed Joyce and Matt Machan both made hundreds as Sussex got their Clydesdale Bank 40 campaign off to a winning start with a crushing 144-run victory over the Unicorns in Group C at Hove.
The two left-handers shared a second-wicket stand of 175 and, although opener Joyce was out shortly after reaching his 11th one-day hundred, 21-year-old Machan, who was playing only his third List A game for Sussex, pushed on to score an unbeaten 126.
Sussex’s total of 291 for three on a dry, slow pitch was always going to prove too much, especially after Unicorns openers Michael Thornely and James Ord were dismissed in the first four overs of the reply, and the visitors could only make 147 for nine.
Sussex scored at a brisk tempo from the start, Joyce and Chris Nash putting on 52 for the first wicket before Ord ran out the latter with a direct hit from mid-on.
Machan was into his stride straight away, lofting Warren Lee for one of four sixes with his first scoring shot and from then on there was no hiding place for a Unicorns attack who struggled to contain either Machan or Joyce.
Machan did have a reprieve when he was caught on the long-on boundary by Glenn Querl but the fielder stepped over the rope and the batsman collected six more.
Joyce seemed to be playing well within himself but still struck 14 fours and a six and had made 102 from 98 balls when he drove Steven Cheetham to Lee at deep point.
Murray Goodwin joined Machan to continue the plunder. Goodwin was dropped by Thornely at long-off but helped put on 46 from 33 balls before he was bowled round his legs by Lee, the pick of the Unicorns’ seam attack.
Machan, strong on both sides of the wicket and not afraid to improvise in his shot selection, scored his runs off 100 balls with nine fours and four sixes.
The Unicorns beat Sussex when they last met two years ago but there was little hope of a repeat on this occasion.
Thornely, returning to the county where he played for four seasons, was caught behind off Naveed Arif. Sussex skipper Yardy, who opened the bowling with his left-arm spin, then bowled Ord off his pads and trapped James Campbell in front as the Unicorns slumped to 22 for three.
It was a good day for the Sussex spinners. Monty Panesar had top-scorer Tom New caught behind for 28 and ran out Querl while off-spinner Nash picked up three wickets at the end as the Unicorns lost six wickets for 55 runs before some late but futile blows by last-wicket pair Lee Beaven and Cheetham, which only delayed the inevitable.