Harmer haul helps Essex Eagles tame Sussex Sharks in VItality Blast
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
A magnificently miserly bowling stint from Essex captain Simon Harmer led his side to a 28-run victory in their Vitality Blast match against Sussex at Hove.
Harmer conceded just 18 runs from his four overs and also picked up the wickets of danger man Ali Orr, Tom Alsop and George Garton.
It was the eighth win of the campaign for Essex as Sussex disappointed once again before a sell-out crowd.
But Orr, the hero of Sussex's first championship win of the season two days before, threatened more heroics as Sussex chased a challenging 198 for victory.
Sussex took just five runs from Aaron Beard's first over, but Orr then plundered 25 runs off the second over, bowled by Daniel Sams.
After just four overs Sussex were 54 without loss, with Orr flying on 36.
Josh Philippe was caught behind for 17 in the fifth over, but after seven overs Sussex were better than on target, at 81 for one.
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However, Orr's odyssey then came to an end as he skied Harmer to midwicket. His 41 had come off just 21 balls and included five fours and two sixes.
Sussex were ahead of the game at the halfway stage, at 101 for two, but Harrison Ward holed out to the deep midwicket boundary for a 22-ball 31 and a brave 28-ball 47 from Sussex captain and former Essex man Ravi Bopara was not enough.
Earlier, Adam Rossington's 50-ball 95, his highest score in the competition, was the stand-out performance in the Essex total of 197 for eight.
Rossington brought up his fifty in the sixth over as he drove Henry Crocombe for a straight four, the bowler's first three deliveries going for boundaries.
But Sussex battled their way back into the match by taking three wickets in the space of 10 deliveries.
Delray Rawlins bowled Robin Das, Michael Pepper was brilliantly caught by Ali Orr, and Dan Lawrence was bowled by Bopara's second ball.
Rossington moved to 95 with a six over long-off but was stumped next ball, and it was Essex's red-ball captain Tom Westley, with a 30-ball 54, who was responsible for ensuring his side reached a challenging total.
Westley struck three fours and four sixes, hitting Garton out of the ground over the hospitality area at cow corner.
Rashid Khan was once again the best Sussex bowler with three wickets for 30 runs, while Bopara (2-30) and Rawlins (2-34) also bowled well.