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PREVIEW: Quarter final place at stake against Essex


Sussex Sharks take on Essex Eagles at The 1st Central County Ground on Friday night in their final group match of the 2017 NatWest T20 Blast (7.00pm start).

The Sharks have named a 13-man squad for the fixture. After returning home yesterday for family reasons, skipper and overseas player Ross Taylor is unavailable. Sussex’s club captain, Ben Brown, will take charge of the team on Friday. Tymal Mills misses out with a hamstring injury.

Ben Brown (captain)
Jofra Archer
Will Beer
Danny Briggs
Laurie Evans
George Garton
Chris Jordan 
Chris Nash
Ollie Robinson
Phil Salt
Stiaan van Zyl
David Wiese
Luke Wright

After 13 games, the Sharks are fourth in the South Group but must win against Essex to be in with a chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals.

Sussex are tied on 12 points with five other counties, but, of those, only Middlesex in third have a superior net run rate. This method is used to separate sides level on points.

Assuming they win on Friday, Sussex are well-placed to progress to the knock-out stages, therefore, but won’t know their fate for sure until each team’s final net run has been calculated.

There are two matches being played in the South Group on Thursday evening, with the remaining four all starting at 7.00pm on Friday. 

Ahead of Sussex’s crucial match, Head Coach, Mark Davis, said: “It’s all come down to the last games to determine who goes into the quarter finals, and this makes Friday an exciting fixture against Essex.

“The team is looking forward to the challenge and can’t wait to play in front of our home supporters. We have a number of players in fine form and are confident of getting a win on Friday.”

Speaking earlier in the week, top run-scorer in the South Group, Chris Nash described the mood amongst the Sharks squad: “We’re buzzing. You want to be in the business end, qualifying for the quarter-finals, pushing for things like this.

“To be knowing that we’re playing on Friday and if can win that gives us a really good chance of going through to the quarter finals is exciting.”

Nash also emphasised how important the home crowd will be: “When you look around the ground and it’s full it gets the players up for it. It makes a huge difference. 

“It’ll be great to have as many down as possible. If we can get a capacity crowd on a Friday night against local rivals, that’d be great.”

The final remaining tickets for the match are available online HERE. Tickets can be bought up until the first ball is bowled via the Print@Home option, although given likely demand for a game of this importance, supporters are cautioned to buy as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

Ball-by-ball commentary of the match will be available online via BBC Sussex HERE. Updates will be provided on the @SussexCCC social media channels via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

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