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Page last updated at 10:09 GMT, Monday, 6 July 2009 11:09 UK

Sussex win sets up Trophy final

FRIENDS PROVIDENT TROPHY, SEMI-FINAL, Hove:
Sussex 326-7 beat Gloucestershire 292 by 34 runs


Ed Joyce
Steve Adshead admires as Ed Joyce sweeps for another boundary at Hove

Ed Joyce hit the highest one-day score of his career as he steered Sussex to a 34-run win over Gloucestershire and a second one-day final in three years.

Sussex ran up a massive 326-7 at Hove, of which Joyce hit an excellent 146, backed by Murray Goodwin's 60.

Visiting skipper Alex Gidman responded with a ton of his own, hitting 116, chiefly in a second-wicket stand of 155 with Hamish Marshall (57).

But they fell short on 292 as Sussex booked a 25 July date with Hampshire.

Sussex have not been to Lord's for a one-day final since beating Lancashire in the final Cheltenham and Gloucester Trophy showpiece in 2006.

But, having been led then by Peter Moores, they missed out on a reunion with their former coach as his Lancashire side lost to Hampshire by 64 runs at Old Trafford.

Instead, they are up against their South Coast neighbours Hampshire, who now have former England coach Duncan Fletcher back on their coaching team.

And it was one of Fletcher's old England charges Joyce, who set Sussex on the way to a 10th Lord's final as he hit his third ton in this year's FP Trophy.

The 30-year-old opener, who made the last of his 17 one-day international appearances under Fletcher at the 2007 World Cup, strengthened his claims for an England recall with his limited-over best 146.

And that earns him a return to Lord's, where he spent nine seasons as a Middlesex player.

At one stage, Sussex looked on course for a total in excess of 350 after Gloucestershire skipper Alex Gidman's decision to field first backfired.

But Gloucestershire clawed a bit back in the last 10 overs when they took four wickets and only conceded 57 runs as Sussex's big hitters perished in the pursuit of quick runs.

And Gidman did at least look determined to make amends when he matched Joyce with a one-day best of his own.

He was still there when the Gladiators began the last 10 overs needing 78, a realistic target on a brown, parched outfield.

But, with the third ball of his second spell Sussex skipper Mike Yardy had Gidman superbly caught at the wicket.

In the next over Hodd pulled off a leg-side stumping to remove the dangerous Steve Adshead and an asking rate of nine an over proved beyond Gloucestershire at the death.


Sharks Captain Michael Yardy told BBC Sussex:

"It's fantastic for the club, a lot of people have put good performances all the way through,

"We've won nothing yet and will need to keep working hard, pushing, and training hard."

Gloucestershire captain Alex Gidman told BBC Radio Bristol:

"When we rocked up here and saw the outfield, we knew there was every chance it would be a high scoring game that could go down to the wire.

"That's the way it happened. We're obviously gutted and disappointed to have fallen short, but it was a fantastic game and a performance we can be proud of."



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