Sussex 182 for 6 (Shadab 87*, van der Gugten 3-20) beat Glamorgan 162 for 8 (Fletcher 57, Northeast 44) by 20 runs
Sussex were in trouble early in their innings but Shadab led a brilliant fight back to post an imposing 182 for for 6. The Pakistan allrounder was well supported by Michael Burgess and James Coles as the Sussex middle order took the game away from the home side.
Both of these teams have a mathematical, if improbable, chance of making the knockout stages of the Blast but it will be difficult for either side to turn around the net run rate advantage held by other teams in the South Group.
It was an outstanding start from the Glamorgan bowlers inside the powerplay with Timm van der Gugten claiming three vital wickets in the opening overs. Van der Gugten dismissed both openers with full balls that were caught inside the circle and got Oli Carter caught at fine leg when he attempted a scoop shot.
Jamie McIlroy also chipped in with a wicket inside the fielding restrictions, with a stunning catch down the leg side by Chris Cooke sending the Sussex captain, Ravi Bopara, back to the dugout. That left Sussex 46 for 4at the end of the powerplay and in urgent need of a partnership.
A 58-run stand between Michael Burgess and Shadab took Sussex past the 100-run mark and started to build a platform. Shadab was the player leading the fightback as he secured his second half-century of this Blast campaign, but Burgess played his part as he made 29 from 22 balls before he chopped a ball from Andy Gorvin on to his stumps.
Shadab found another willing partner in James Coles as they attacked in the back end of the Sussex innings after a successful rebuilding job. The final five overs saw 65 runs added to the visitor’s total. Shadab pased fifty from 39 balls but put on another 36 runs from the next 14 deliveries he faced to finish on 87 not out.
The Glamorgan chase got off to the worst possible start when captain Kiran Carlson was caught in the gully from the first ball of the innings, but Will Smale and Sam Northeast did a decent job of recovering from the early loss of Carlson with a stand of 37.
Smale looked to be really getting going before the extra pace of Tymal Mills did for him. He was bowled for 25 to leave Glamorgan 37 for 2. Northeast, back to opening after a spell in the middle order, looked in fine form as he made 44 from 30 deliveries before he was caught on the boundary by Harrison Ward off the bowling of Bopara.
Cooke was run out in bizarre fashion at the non-strikers end by Shadab. Fletcher drilled the ball straight back at the bowler and Shadab stopped the ball with his foot with a touch that was worthy of Lionel Messi before calmly picking it up and running out Cooke.
The timing of that shot was indictive of how well Fletcher struck the ball throughout his innings. He had made just one run from his two previous visits to the crease for Glamorgan, but he found some form here on his way to 57 from 40 balls.
As wickets fell around Fletcher there was little he could do as the required rate crept up to make a win mathematically impossible by the time the last over started and he fell attempting to swing for the fences as Sussex closed out the victory.