Glamorgan cruise to opening Blast win in Hove to cement Sussex woes

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Sussex 150-6 (20)

Glamorgan 153-3 (18.5)

Glamorgan beat Sussex by 7 wickets

Despite being strugglers in this competition in recent years, the Welsh side limited the Sharks to just 150 to set up a comfortable run chase to kickstart their 2022 Blast campaign. Sussex remain winless in all formats.

Alsop, Carter and Crocombe were dropped from the initial 14-man squad to form the Sharks lineup, whereas Harris, Ingram and Salter made way for the visitors.

Glamorgan won the toss and elected to field first, and straight away the Pakistani International Mohammad Rizwan got into his scoring stride within the first two overs. However, by the fourth over, the Glamorgan attack had slowed the powerplay scoring and dismissed two Sussex batters in Luke Wright and debuting Josh Phillippe, who both took on unnecessary shots and came unstuck because of it.

However, with T20 captain Ravi Bopara joining Rizwan at the crease, Sussex steadied the ship and were beginning to build up a solid-looking partnership. This was until Bopara edged a Sisodiya delivery to Michael Neser to end the partnership at 47.

Rizwan continued to bat well but was restricted due to struggling to get on strike and his partners dropping like flies. Delray Rawlins came in to try and push the score but was caught after just failing to clear the boundary with a six attempt. His successor suffered an almost identical fate, as he was caught by Sisodiya.

Sussex did not relent in trying to try and push the score, but the Glamorgan attack were able to limit the hosts and keep the danger-man off strike. Harrison Ward was the last to go before the Sharks eventually made 150-6 – a meagre total to defend with some classy batsmen in the opposing ranks.

David Lloyd kicked things off for the visitors with a pair of big shots to start the second over but was perhaps overzealous in his aggressive batting as he was skittled by Steve Finn for 15.

It was from here that Marnus Labuschagne and Sam Northeast showed their quality and indeed their game management, as they pushed the pace with some big scoring, whilst picking their moments to do so and not leaving any silly openings.

At the halfway stage, Glamorgan were ten runs ahead of the game with a functional partnership between Labuschagne and Northeast, until Delray Rawlins gave Sussex a potential lifeline as he goaded Labuschagne into taking a big swing, only to send it directly upwards for Ward to catch.

The visitors were unfazed however and kept plucking away at the total knowing they only required the equivalent of a run per ball to get over the line. Northeast took no chances but came up with some cultured shots to push the runs total when needed.

In the 17th, Ravi Bopara dismissed Kiran Carlson, but at this point, the result was a formality.

It looked as though the hosts may be able to take it to the final over, but a loose ball was swept to the boundary by Sam Northeast, giving Glamorgan a comprehensive seven-wicket victory to kickstart their Blast campaign.

For a Glamorgan side that were unfancied heading into this year’s tournament, beating 2021’s semi-finalists in Sussex away from home is a very impressive start for the Welsh side.

The visitors reduced the Sussex total with some solid bowling performances from Michael Hogan, Prem Sisodiya and Dan Douthwaite, thwarting Rizwan and preventing a partnership from building.

After that, Matthew Maynard’s side knew they had the upper hand, and some selectively aggressive batting from Labuschagne and Northeast pushed the score early on, allowing them to close the show with some no risk cricket.

The Sharks will be disappointed with their batting performance and their failure to support Rizwan at the crease but will take some solace from solid bowling outings from Rawlins and 17-year-old spinner Archie Lenham, who was a standout in the Sharks side.

Though not an ideal start for Sussex, they have a chance to bounce back immediately and get their season underway as they travel to face Gloucestershire the following night. Meanwhile, Glamorgan will look to maintain a 100% record on their South-East tour to start their Blast tournament, as they head to the Oval to play Surrey.

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