SUSSEX County Cricket Club lost their opening game of the Arundel Festival when they went down by 34 runs in the T20 Blast against Somerset.
In front of a large crowd, Somerset scored 163-4 from their 20 overs as Craig Kieswetter blasted 70, before Sussex were then all out for 129 in 18.5 overs as Dirk Nannes claimed 5-31.
Somerset were put into bat by Sussex captain Ed Joyce, who won the toss, and they made a strong start as opening batsmen Kieswetter and Chris Jones put on 56 in the six-over powerplay.
Jones was caught by Will Beer at long-off from Stefan Piolet’s bowling for 18 with the score on 58 in the seventh over. Peter Trego joined Kieswetter at the crease and the duo took Somerset to 80-1 at the halfway point of their innings.
Piolet picked up his second wicket when he bowled Trego for 17 but Kieswetter continued his classy innings as he brought up his half-century from the first ball of the 14th over when he cracked a four off Will Beer’s bowling.
His 50 came up from 38 balls with four fours and one six. He was eventually caught by Beer at long-off from Chris Liddle’s bowling for 70, with the score on 138.
Craig Meschede fell for seven eight runs later but Alviro Petersen finished unbeaten on 29 as Somerset posted 163-4.
Piolet was the pick of the Sussex bowlers as he finished his four overs with 2-24.
Sussex’s reply never really got going as they lost wickets at regular intervals.
Chris Nash and Luke Wright both hit a boundary from Peter Trego’s first over as Sussex were 9-0 after one over.
However, Nash fell for 11 in the next over when he was caught by Alfonso Thomas in the deep off Nannes’ bowling with the score on 15.
Sussex dangerman Luke Wright hit a six off Thomas’ first delivery of the fifth over but was clean bowled for 19 two balls later to put Sussex up against it.
Rory Hamilton-Brown was smartly stumped by Kieswetter off Meschede for one, before Matt Machan (ten) and captain Ed Joyce (25) both fell with the score on 67.
Yasir Arafat struck five fours as he finished unbeaten on 36 from 23 balls but it was not enough to prevent Sussex from falling to a fifth successive T20 defeat.
The Arundel Festival of Cricket continues tomorrow when Sussex host Yorkshire in the first day of the County Championship. Sussex will have England one-day spinner James Tredwell in their squad after he joined on a County Championship loan from Kent.