Every successful sporting campaign comes with a defining game, a turning point, a eureka moment if you will. Perhaps the Sharks Nat West T20 Blast title bid has had several of those over the past 48 hours.
During that time Sussex Cricket have moved from 2017 T20 nearly men to quarter final qualification challengers.
After a stunning home win against Surrey the team dusted themselves down, drove east to Canterbury and then repeated the dose against the Spitfires of Kent. Four points in two games is, momentum !
In terms of travelling the real hard work is now over for Mark Davies, his squad and fans. The trip into Kent seemed a breeze this evening.
It took around 90 mins to do the M25 and A2. Thanks to Paul who was on driving duty in his Corsa (33k on the clock).
We had time to have a little peek around the town centre before strolling up to the S Lawrence ground front gates. The place was bathed in golden sunshine, heat still very much in charge and thankfully not a hint of rain.
Its what 2017 T20 cricket has been crying out for! My mate John and I indulged in coffee and cake from the wonderful Lemon Tree Café just yards from the boundary ropes.
We then walked to the other end of the ground and stood on the downstairs balcony of the main Scoreboard behind the bowlers arm.
From there you get a great view of the action and all the eclectic array of stands. For me, the St Lawrence ground is visually very pleasing and its a place I very much enjoy visiting.
Ross lost the toss and Kent had no hesitation in having a bat. Why wouldn’t you to be honest. The weather was perfect, seemed a good pitch and massive home crowd behind you.
However, it was the visitors who got the perfect start. David Weise knocked over the dangerous Denly first ball and then the Spitfires skipper Northeast skied one which keeper Ben Brown happily sprinted to accept the catch.
When Weise took out Bell-Drummond (chopping on for 12) Kent were in serious disarray. You could hear a pin drop !
Sam Billings stayed focus through out an excellent inns of 74 but the hosts just couldn’t maintain any sort of meaningful partnership and wickets kept falling. Darren Stevens 18 and Matt Coles 14 eventually gave home fans some respite as Kent closed on 163 for 9. Mills the pick three overs none for 15.
As eluded to in yesterdays report Chris Nash is finding some rhythm with the bat. 64 at Hove and then a match winning 20 over 73 not out tonight makes him the stand out player of the match.
We didn’t score a run off the 1st 10 balls but that didn’t faze him one jot. He just took it all in his stride and then played a fierce late cut to get things moving. From then on he wasn’t in trouble at all. He and keeper Brown (49) batted superbly well, running the singles and keeping the scoreboard ticking over nicely.
Things got a little scary on 110 when Brown and Taylor (a golden) fell to Darren Stevens. The home crowd suddenly in good voice.
But Sussex are now starting to show a calm assurance with their batting. Evans (15) and Jordan (8 n.o.) proving wonderful support to Nash. Fittingly it was our opener who thick edged a four to wrap up victory late in the 19th over.
Sharks were pretty much in control through out the entire match and it seems as though the team are really starting to find their feet in this competition.
They currently sit 4th place in the Nat West T20 Blast South division with just 4 games remaining.
After a County Championship game early next week Sharks are back in T20 action at Cricket HQ Lords on 10th August.
I have felt from day one that the T20 Sussex Cricket squad assembled was good enough to get out of the group and perhaps progress to finals day. After a roller coaster 10 match stint THINGS ARE COMING TOGETHER NICELY ! GOSBTS