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Page last updated at 21:36 GMT, Thursday, 4 June 2009 22:36 UK

Hove lights out on luckless Kent

TWENTY20 CUP, SOUTH DIVISION, Hove:
Sussex 131-3 beat Kent 61-0 by 2 runs (D/L) Sussex 2pts


Twenty20 Cup

Floodlight failure robbed Kent at Hove to gift Sussex an unlikely two-run Duckworth/Lewis victory.

Sussex had looked up against it with only 131-3 from 20 overs, Dwayne Smith top scoring with an unbeaten 69.

Kent openers Darren Stevens (27no) and Joe Denly (32no) had set up a fourth win in six games at halfway on 59-0.

But, six balls later, concern over player safety forced the umpires to offer the light with nine overs left, Kent on 61-0 and Sussex now just ahead.

Unlucky though Kent undoubtedly were, the victory was still a triumph for home skipper Mike Yardy.

When he conceded two runs from his fourth over of slow left-arm spin from the Sea End, he realised that Sussex had now just sneaked back ahead on the D/L rate.

The Hove pavilion clock now stood at a quarter past nine with the natural light fading fast following the earlier failure of the floodlights.

And, with his team's noses now in front, Yardy cannily called up Robin Martin-Jenkins to bowl from the gloomy Cromwell Road End.

The switch to pace forced umpires Vanburn Holder and Rob Bailey to consult over player safety.

And they duly took the teams off to enable Sussex to secure a shock win.

Sussex's next game is also supposedly under floodlights at home to Surrey (Monday 22 June, 1900 BST)
Kent have four games left, having still to play Surrey and Hampshire home and away
Sussex's last qualifying game is against Middlesex at Lord's (Sunday 28 June, 1730 BST)

The umpires had been informed by ground officials 40 minutes before the scheduled start that the four floodlight pylons at the north end of the ground were unlikely to work.

With the likelihood of a shortened game, Kent's acting captain Martin van Jaarsveld elected to field first after winning the toss thinking that, with all wickets in hand for a short run-chase, the odds would be stacked on the Spitfires' side.

But, in the end, it was Sussex who got their name up in lights by claiming the victory that keeps them two points clear at the top of the South Division.

Due to the fact that they have had to squeeze in a three-day game against the Australian tourists when the Twenty 20 Cup re-emerges from its enforced break, Sussex have now played two games more than anyone else.

But they have the points on the board in a division that looks to have become a four-horse race.

And their final two games are against the two apparently worst teams in the group, Surrey and Middlesex.



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