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DUBAI: Sussex Sharks win the Emirates Airline Twenty20 in Dubai


Sussex warmed-up for the new domestic season in style by triumphing in the Emirates Airline Twenty20 tournament in Dubai, beating Lancashire by 57 runs in the final yesterday.

The Sharks, who also made the final in 2010 and 2011 but failed to take the trophy, played solidly against a slick Lancashire side who had already disposed of a star studded MCC in their semi final.

Having won the toss and choosing to bat, the Sharks amassed 162 with Luke Wells top scoring with 45, hitting four boundaries and two huge sixes. Andy Hodd then added to the total with 42 with 2 fours and one six before being caught by Steven Croft. Captain Michael Yardy added 21 to the total with Ben Brown (16) and Chris Nash (13) also hitting double figures.

Oliver Newby was the pick of the bowlers for Lancashire, taking 3 wickets for 26 runs off four overs with Kyle Hogg,Tom Smith and Gary Keedy all claiming a scalp.

In reply, Lancashire could not reproduce their winning form from earlier in the day, managing only 105. Brown top scored with 39, including 3 sixes and 3 fours, and Jordan Clark contributed 18 but apart from a tenacious last effort from Newby, scoring 11 off six balls, the rest of the team failed to make double figures.

In contrast, Sussex bowled excellently, with Will Beer taking 4 for 26 off 3.5 overs, Naveed Arif claiming 2 for 22 and Yardy taking 2 for 20 to once again pick up the man of the match gong as he did in the semi-final against Durham.

“I’m thrilled we have won today, especially after making the final for the past two years. It’s great to take the win, the young guys did really well and we’re happy that its third time lucky for us” said Yardy.

Sussex had started the day well with an impressive win against a strong Durham outfit, boasting a number of players with international experience. The Dynamos had looked easy on chasing Sussex’s total of 105 until a massive mid-order collapse saw them lose by 27 runs.

Durham had started solidly with Phil Mustard scoring 15, Ian Blackwell adding 13 and Ben Stokes hitting a valuable 26. At 67 for 4 they looked well on target to reach Sussex’s total. But they collapsed to lose four wickets for no runs. The tail could only add 5 more to finish with a meagre 78, putting Sussex through to the final.

The Sussex squad will remain in Dubai for the next few days and will also be facing Durham in a two-day match as their attentions turn to preparing for the season opener against Surrey in the LV=County Championship Division One at the Kia Oval on Thursday week.

Skipper Yardy on the way to his 21 against Lancashire

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