Wright, Carey and Evans put Sussex on course for Vitality Blast last eight

Laurie Evans was one of the Sussex batting stars who saw the Sharks to victory at Uxbridge / Picture: Getty Images
Laurie Evans was one of the Sussex batting stars who saw the Sharks to victory at Uxbridge / Picture: Getty Images

Sussex bounced back from their defeat to Essex as they cruised to victory against Middlesex at Uxbridge - beating the hosts by eight wickets to move a big step closer to the Vitality Blast quarter-finals.

Unbeaten knocks of 52 from Laurie Evans and 41 from Alex Carey powered Sussex back to winning ways after Luke Wright (48) and Phil Salt (29) had got them off to an electric start.

Middlesex captain Dawid Malan won the toss and elected to bat first and this decision looked to be a good one with the hosts looking comfortable at 57/0 just before the end of the powerplay.

However, Sussex managed to break through with the last ball of the powerplay as Paul Stirling skied a shot off Ollie Robinson and was caught by Evans for 30.

This brought England World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan to the crease with Malan, but he wasn’t with him for long as Middlesex skipper smashed a half-tracker from Will Beer straight down the throat of Salt and was caught for 31.

Morgan was joined by Pakistan overseas Mohammed Hafeez and the experienced international pair looked to settle in against spinners Beer and Danny Briggs. The England white-ball captain looked dangerous as he took 10 from Briggs' second over including a monster six that went over the Uxbridge pavilion.

While Morgan looked good, Hafeez was struggling against the spin pair and should have been dismissed if he wasn’t dropped on four at long-on off Beer. The pair eventually began to motor as they took 18 from Beer’s third over with Hafeez finding his groove with back-to-back sixes.

Both batsmen started to accelerate in the final overs, but this did not come without chances for Sussex, Morgan particularly riding his luck with numerous edges over the top of fielders. His luck eventually ran out when he was caught going for one shot too many by Jordan for 47 off Reece Topley.

Some superb bowling at the death from Topley, Robinson and Jordan restricted Middlesex which was especially helped when Jordan had John Simpson caught at long-on by Wiese for 5.

An outstanding final over from Jordan saw Hafeez run out by Carey for 48 as he looked for a bye before four dot balls from Jordan saw the hosts finished on 171/5.

The Sharks chase started superbly as they were 62/0 at the end of the powerplay with one over from Toby Roland-Jones going for 23. This electric start was ended when Salt departed for 29 when he smashed a long hop from Stirling straight to George Scott on the boundary edge.

Evans joined Wright and he watched as the Sussex captain dismantled the Middlesex attack with a fine display of batting. They got the score to 91/1 off nine overs before Wright played his first false shot which brought about his dismissal, caught and bowled by Finn for 48.

Australian overseas man Carey joined Evans and the pair picked up where Salt and Wright left off with some exquisite attacking shots with Hafeez’s last over going for 16.

The pair continued to tick over the score with some lofted attacking shots while also rotating the strike as they brought up their 50-run stand in the 14th over.

The game was ended in the 15th over when back-to-back sixes from Carey put Sussex close before a winning blow of six from Evans brought up his fifty and won the game for Sussex.

A jubilant Evans said afterwards: "It’s about time I got some runs. It was a great wicket and a great performance, especially coming off the back of a couple of losses. Hopefully we’ve qualified now and we are pushing towards that home quarter-final.

“I love batting with that bloke (Alex Carey). It is a matter of time before he is no longer with us because he’ll be playing at a higher level. It takes the pressure off you when you have someone like that batting at the other end as well. The way they started and the way our bowlers came back there was just extraordinary."