Sussex count the cost as Van der Wath seals victory

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The Independent Online

Sussex eased their way into the quarter-finals of the Cheltenham and Gloucester Trophy yesterday when Johann van der Wath hoisted Samit Patel over long-on for six. The blow by the South African saw the South Coast side complete a four-wicket victory over Nottinghamshire with 18 balls to spare.

Sussex eased their way into the quarter-finals of the Cheltenham and Gloucester Trophy yesterday when Johann van der Wath hoisted Samit Patel over long-on for six. The blow by the South African saw the South Coast side complete a four-wicket victory over Nottinghamshire with 18 balls to spare.

But the win, which gives Sussex an away tie against Lancashire, was greeted with mixed emotions by the club's committee. Defeat would have given Sussex the opportunity of playing a three-day match against the touring Australian's between 15 and 17 July, a game which would have boosted their coffers by an estimated £50,000.

Leicestershire, who lost to Warwickshire on Tuesday, will now take up this lucrative engagement.

And for 20 overs of Sussex's reply it appeared as though the players were having doubts over what they should do. Chasing a modest total of 195, the home side had been reduced to 71 for 4. But the experience of Murray Goodwin and an intelligent half-century from Carl Hopkinson calmed nerves and took Sussex to within 21 runs of the target.

Goodwin is an ideal player to have coming in at times like this. The former Zimbabwe international is brilliant at working the ball into the gaps. The 32-year-old hit only four boundaries in his innings but his 50 was completed in 75 balls. Hopkinson should have learnt a lot through batting with Goodwin and his precocious displays, along with the run-out of Stephen Fleming, won the 23-year-old the man of the match award.

That Nottinghamshire managed to place Sussex under any sort of pressure was something of an achievement. James Kirtley and Van der Wath dismissed the visitors' openers in the opening two overs of the match, but it was the run-out of Jason Gallian, attempting to complete a fourth run via an inaccurate throw from the deep, that summed up Nottinghamshire's disappointing display with the bat.

Fleming and Samit Patel were the only players to make worthwhile contributions to their side's total of 195 for 9. The New Zealand captain's classy half-century occupied 18 overs at the start of Nottinghamshire's innings, and Patel's fine knock of 61 not out gave a sparse crowd much-needed entertainment at the end. But, in between, Nottinghamshire played poor cricket.

Fleming started his first season in charge of the Midlands side with 0 and 1 in a Championship match against Middlesex at Lord's. But the left-hander then hit consecutive scores of 111 and 238 against Sussex and Surrey.

He was dropped at slip on 17, but then hit several gorgeous strokes down the ground and off his legs. His innings came to an end when David Hussey called him for a quick single. A laboured jog was beaten by a direct hit from Hopkinson in the gully.

Hussey slogged a catch to mid-on in the next over and from this point on Nottinghamshire were never likely to post a winning total.

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