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December 19, 2018
T20 Blast final: Worcestershire Rapids beat Sussex Sharks by five wickets
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T20 Blast final: Worcestershire Rapids beat Sussex Sharks by five wickets

Ed Barnard and Ben Cox celebrate after Cox hit the wining runs against Sussex
Vitality Blast final, Edgbaston
Sussex Sharks 157-6 (20 overs): Evans 52, Wright 33; Moeen 3-30
Worcestershire Rapids 158-5 (18.3 overs): Cox 46*, Moeen 41; Briggs 2-19
Worcestershire beat Sussex by five wickets
Match scorecard

Worcestershire won the T20 Blast for the first time as they beat Sussex at Edgbaston by five wickets.

On their first appearance at Finals Day, Moeen Ali’s side chased a target of 158 with nine balls to spare.

Just as in their semi-final win over Lancashire earlier in the day, Worcestershire owed most to captain Moeen and wicketkeeper Ben Cox.

Moeen took 3-30 in Sussex’s 157-6 before hitting 41, while Cox saw them home on 158-5 with 46 not out.

Although sadly watched by a mere 500 Pears supporters after problems with ticket allocations to the four semi-finalists, it was still a memorable day out in Birmingham.

With Cox’s 46 added to his earlier 55 against Lancashire, his winning hit for four over square leg off Jofra Archer triggered wild scenes among their small band of followers as Worcestershire celebrated their first trophy since 1994.

Sussex fall under par

It looked like the ball might be running Worcestershire’s way when Sussex received an early jolt with the freakishly silly and surely questionable early run-out of opener Phil Salt just as he was getting into his stride.

The south coast side were then at their best in a 58-run second-wicket stand between another Warwickshire old boy Laurie Evans and semi-final hero Luke Wright.

Even when Moeen bowled Wright, third-wicket pair Delray Rawlins and Evans kept the score moving with 44 more in 26 balls.

But from 121-2, when Moeen had Rawlins caught by Brown, then also bowled David Wiese, Sussex lost their way to fall short of par on 157-6 – 46 fewer than they had managed earlier in the semi.

Worcestershire’s day in Birmingham

Worcestershire openers Joe Clarke and Moeen started well, galloping past 50 inside the first six Powerplay overs.

But within four balls, Clarke was caught behind off Danny Briggs, before Will Beer tempted Tom Fell to drive to short extra cover. Three overs later, Brett D’Oliveira, run out without facing in the semi, was on the wrong end of a very tight television umpire stumping call.

Moeen was caught at deep long-off, again for 41 after making the same score in the win against Lancashire, then after putting on 36 with Cox, Ross Whiteley was caught in the deep, also on a video replay, trying to bale out a waist-high Jofra Archer full toss.

Ben Cox was dropped from Worcestershire’s County Championship side this week

But Cox, dropped for this week’s County Championship game with Surrey following a poor run of form, had showed in the semi-final he was a man who performs under pressure.

Still needing 33 off 19 balls when he was joined by Ed Barnard, he made mincemeat of the challenge, as it was Sussex’s fast bowlers who fell apart under pressure, to win his second man of the match award of the day.

Source BBC News

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