Rain wins day after Wright and Salt give Sussex flying start versus Surrey
The first game of Sussex’s T20 Blast campaign become the seventh of eight opening fixtures this week to be ended by rain.
The sun had been out in Hove prior to the start of the Shark’s fixture versus Surrey but when the rain that had been forecast all afternoon eventually fell it was enough to call off the game after just 15.2 overs had been bowled.
Sussex were put into bat by the visitors, with Ravi Bopara making his first appearance for the Sharks after signing from champions Essex this season.
Phil Salt and Luke Wright opened up for the hosts with the former looking like he was dismissed early on when he was caught for three but was reinstated at the crease when the umpires were informed by the opener that Surrey had three men outside the circle instead of the regular two that are allowed in the powerplay.
It was his partner Wright who got the Sharks off to a fast start as he amassed 31 off 25 balls inside the opening four overs before he was bowled off an inside edge by one of three Surrey debutants, Gus Atkinson.
Salt made Surrey pay for their earlier mistake when he took 28 off another Surrey debutant James Taylor’s first over to see Sussex finish the powerplay at 69 for one.
Harry Finch added 10 runs in a 42-run partnership with Salt before the former was dismissed when he attempted to swing T20 debutant Dan Moriarty away but was caught by Rory Burns for 10.
Finch’s dismissal sparked a collapse which saw Sussex lose four wickets for 12 runs with Salt’s quickfire innings ended shortly after when he was caught for 40 off 22 balls by Atkinson off Surrey skipper Gareth Batty.
Delray Rawlins came and went when he was run out by Taylor for seven after a mix-up with Bopara. The 38-times capped England T20 international then was caught for one after chipping a shot to Scott Borthwick off Batty to leave the Sharks at 95/5.
Aaron Thomason and George Garton briefly stemmed the flow of wickets but were unable to keep up the quick rate of scoring as they added 21 in four overs to leave Sussex at 116/5 before the inevitable rain cloud that had been looming near Hove all afternoon finally interrupted and washed out the game.
Both sides will take a point each to start their South Group campaign with Sussex’s next game on Sunday when they host Hampshire.
Sussex coach Jason Gillespie: “It was developing into an exciting match. For a couple of overs we lost a couple of wickets but we were ready to push in the final five overs and put up a competitive total. But we can’t control the weather.”