Steelbacks given an Arundel hammering

TOP SCORER - James Middlebrook
TOP SCORER - James Middlebrook
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SUSSEX cruised to an eight-wicket win over Northants Steelbacksat Arundel to consolidate their place at the top of group C in the Clydesdale Bank 40.

Chris Liddle took four for 21 and Scott Styris two for 12 as Northamptonshire were bowled out for 129 after James Middlebrook (37) and Rob Keogh (30) had rescued them from 46 for six at one stage.

Murray Goodwin scored an unbeaten 67 and put on 96 for the third wicket with Ed Joyce (38 not out) as Sussex eased home in the 31st over.

Northants arrived having lost all three of their completed games in the competition and were soon in trouble as they slumped to 46 for six on a tricky wicket.

They got off to the worst possible start when Kyle Coetzer was bowled off the second ball of the innings by Amjad Khan.

David Willey followed in the next over to give Kirk Wernars a wicket on his debut in the competition to leave Northants on two for two.

Wernars picked up a second wicket when David Sales played on and Alex Wakely’s brief cameo of 16 came to an end when he drove a ball from Liddle straight to Ed Joyce at short extra cover.

Scott Styris then removed Rob Newton and David Murphy before Keogh and Middlebrook began the recovery with a partnership of 60 for the seventh wicket.

Keogh hit 30 from 60 balls before Liddle returned to the attack to have him caught at long on while Middlebrook was caught on the boundary in the final over for 37.

Liddle also had Oliver Stone caught behind to finish with figures of four for 21 from 7.5 overs.

Sussex’s chase did not get off to the best of starts as Chris Nash chipped a catch to mid on off the bowling of Willey in only the third over.

Luke Wright followed trying to break the shackles of some tight Northants bowling as he skied a catch off the bowling of Coetzer.

At that stage Sussex were 34 for two after 10 overs and a tricky afternoon looked in prospective but Joyce and Goodwin ensured the hosts cruised home with plenty to spare.

After playing cautiously to begin with Goodwin cut loose by smashing Middlebrook for the only six of the match and then hitting Coetzer for three consecutive fours to bring up his 50 off 59 balls.

He was dropped on 51 by wicketkeeper David Murphy and finished unbeaten on 67 off 74 balls with six fours and a six.