Stunning Styris sends Sussex through
Scott Styris scored the equal third-fastest century in Twenty20 history as Sussex overpowered Gloucestershire in the Friends Life t20 quarter-final at the PROBIZ County Ground.
Styris blasted 100 not out off just 37 balls, with one James Fuller over going for 38, while Matt Prior and Murray Goodwin also cut loose en route to 60 and 55 respectively as Sussex blasted their way to 230 for four.
Dan Housego, Alex Gidman and Hamish Marshall all passed 40 for Gloucestershire, but, despite a valiant effort, they fell well short on 191 for eight.
Sussex made the worst possible start after being put in to bat as they lost openers Chris Nash and Luke Wright in the first seven balls.
Nash was caught at mid-off by Hamish Marshall off the bowling of Ian Saxelby in the first over while Wright was superbly caught and bowled by Fuller to leave Sussex struggling on three for two.
Prior led the recovery by smashing Liam Norwell for two sixes and hitting Saxelby onto the roof of the pavilion as he brought up his 50 from 28 balls.
The England wicketkeeper put on 98 with Goodwin, who played a good supporting role at the other end before accelerating to his 50, which spanned 38 deliveries.
Prior's innings came to a disappointing end when he set off for a run and was sent back by Goodwin, with the throw from Young beating him.
Gloucestershire should have had another run-out when Styris got in a terrible mix-up with Goodwin, only for Muttiah Muralitharan to miss the stumps from close range.
That proved expensive as Styris went into overdrive. The New Zealand all-rounder hit a remarkable nine sixes and five fours, with the worst of the punishment reserved for Fuller’s third and final over, which began with two no-balls and disappeared in an onslaught of boundaries.
Styris reached his 50 off 24 balls and then powered to his 100 off a further 13. Only Andrew Symonds and Louis van der Westhuizen have scored quicker hundreds in the format.
Gloucestershire needed to get off to a flying start to stand any chance but lost Benny Howell early as they struggled to 43 for one after the six-over powerplay.
Housego and Marshall put on 63 from six overs to keep their faint hopes alive before opener Marshall edged Amjad Khan to England keeper Prior.
Will Beer bowled Housego and Ian Cockbain before Gidman and Fuller added 62 off 4.1 overs.
But Gidman and Ed Young were run out from successive balls and Fuller, having plundered 26 off 12 balls in his bid for redemption, was bowled by Amjad.
An improbable - but not technically impossible, in light of the precedent conjured by Fuller and Styris - 43 were needed from the final over but it yielded only three runs and the wicket of Saxelby.