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NATWEST T20 BLAST: How the Sharks can secure a quarter final spot


Tonight’s clash with Essex Eagles is Sussex’s biggest game of the season so far. There are no two ways about it; we must win this match to have a chance of qualifying for the NatWest T20 Blast quarter finals.

Even then, there are still a few things that need to go our way in tonight’s other matches for the Sharks to finish in the top four and therefore progress to the knock-out stages. Here’s our game-by-game guide to what we need to happen…

SUSSEX SHARKS vs. ESSEX EAGLES – The 1st Central County Ground, Hove. 7.00pm
First things first: Sussex have to win. A victory would take us to 14 points, which could well be enough to secure the fourth spot. However, there are three other counties – Middlesex, Somerset and Essex - for whom a win tonight would also put them on 14 points. There is also one county – Surrey – for whom a loss would leave them on 14 points. The final quarter final berth will therefore be decided by net run rate (NRR).

Glamorgan vs. MIDDLESEX – The SSE SWALEC, Cardiff. 7.00pm
Middlesex are level with Sussex on points, but are one place higher (3rd) thanks to their superior NRR (+0.273 vs. Sussex’s +0.158). If Middlesex lose, tie or get ‘no-result’ and Sussex win, then this isn’t an issue. If both sides triumph, however, Sussex - to qualify - would need to win convincingly enough that their NRR overtook Middlesex’s. 

Hampshire vs. SOMERSET – The Ageas Bowl, Southampton. 7.00pm
If Somerset lose, they are out. If they win and do so with a big enough positive swing to their NRR (currently +0.044) that it overtakes both Sussex and Middlesex’s, then they could take fourth place, even if one or both of Sussex and Middlesex win.

Kent Spitfires vs. SURREY – The Spitfire Ground, Canterbury. 7.00pm
The winner of this match will be guaranteed one of the top three spots in the South Group. If Surrey lose, however, they would finish on 14 points, which, as we know, would also be the Sharks’ points total after a win against Essex. However, the very fact that Surrey had lost would see their net run rate fall further behind the NRR of a victorious Sussex and Middlesex. 

Confused? Don’t worry, all will be clear by the end of the evening. In the meantime, put away your calculators, sit back, enjoy the match and cheer the Sharks onto a win! 

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