Sussex Sharks moved to the top of the Vitality Blast South Group after thrashing Glamorgan by nine wickets at Hove.
Sussex’s fifth win out of six – they also tied against Surrey – moved last year’s beaten finalists above Kent Spitfires and they were always in control against a Glamorgan side still looking for their first win of the campaign.
After they restricted Glamorgan, who won the toss, to 146 for 9, openers Luke Wright and Phil Salt launched the reply with a withering assault which brought 130 in 12 overs, Sussex’s fourth highest partnership in the format and their biggest against Glamorgan.
The pair rattled along at more than ten an over from the start, matching each other shot for shot against a toothless Glamorgan attack which lacked variety compared to Sussex.
Salt reached his 50 with a six into the top tier of the pavilion off Andrew Salter and the off-spinner was hit for boundaries off the next two deliveries. Salt won the game off fifth ball of the 13th over with an upper cut over third man which brought him his eighth boundary, he also hit three sixes as he finished on 78 not out from 42 balls – his third half-century of this season’s competition.
It looked as if the Sussex pair might win the game on their own but Wright fell to a superb diving catch in the 13th over by wicketkeeper Chris Cooke after making 56 off 35 deliveries with five fours and two sixes. There were 6.1 overs left when Sussex eased to victory.
Salt said: "We are playing good cricket at the moment, we've got momentum and we are running with it.
"Luke Wright and myself put on a really strong partnership but the game was set up by our bowlers. Chris Jordan said a really interesting thing yesterday that batsmen win you games but bowlers win you tournaments and so far in this competition our bowlers have been outstanding. It was quite a good pitch tonight so to restrict Glamorgan to under 150 was an outstanding effort by them.
"We got to the final last year but I think we're playing better cricket this year. We've got better clarity in our roles and as a team and long may it continue."
Such a one-sided contest had seemed unlikely with Glamorgan in good shape at 55 for 1 in the ninth over and opener David Lloyd going well. But they lost eight wickets for 87 and were never the same after Lloyd departed to the next ball after reaching his second fifty of this season’s Blast.
The 27-year-old hit nine fours from 37 balls faced but he holed out to deep mid-wicket to give left-arm spinner Danny Briggs his second wicket and Glamorgan struggled for momentum thereafter against some accurate and disciplined Sussex bowling.
Skipper Colin Ingram (19), Kiran Carlson (18) and Chris Cooke (13) all threatened but Sussex maintained a happy knack of taking a wicket just when Glamorgan threatened to put together a decent partnership.
Briggs was taken for 18 in his final over and Tymal Mills’ last over cost 11 runs, but Glamorgan lost wickets too regularly to build any momentum and set a challenging total. Ollie Robinson removed Graham Wagg (3) and Cooke with successive balls in the 17th over and finished with 2 for 27 but the pick of their bowlers was Reece Topley, who finished with 3 for 20. Sussex’s fielding was excellent with Salt taking two superb diving catches in the deep to complete an excellent evening.
The Turning Point: Glamorgan were never the same after losing David Lloyd in the 11th over for 50. It was the first of seven wickets to fall in 8.4 overs as the visitors batting tailed away.
Shot of the Match: Phil Salt’s pull off Mick Hogan into the top tier of the pavilion to reach his 50.
The Unsung Hero: Three days after becoming the leading domestic T20 wicket-taker left-arm spinner Danny Briggs was outstanding again. He snared David Lloyd the ball after the Glamorgan opener reached 50 and was threatening a substantial score.
What’s Next: Sussex Sharks host Middlesex in another Friday-night sell-out while Glamorgan return to the Swalec Stadium on the same evening to take on Essex.