Cachopa Sends Sussex To Seven Wicket Win

Sussex pick-up an important win as they defeat Hampshire by seven wickets at the Ageas Bowl

A career-best NatWest T20 Blast innings from Craig Cachopa (89*) saw Sussex claim a seven-wicket victory over Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.

The right-hander finished unbeaten as a vital partnership between him and Matt Machan (52*), who also remained undefeated, guided Sussex to the required total, after Hampshire had initially posted a competitive 158-6 batting first.

The visitors initially struggled in their pursuit as they found themselves 15-3, with Chris Wood (2-27) striking twice in his first over and Gareth Berg (1-24) also bowling well in his Hampshire T20 debut.

However a striking display of power-hitting saw Hampshire fall just short of yet another T20 win as Sussex claimed a much-needed win with seven balls to spare.

The home-side began positively having been put in to bat by the visitors and opener James Vince (41) guided Hampshire to 33-0.

Despite the loss of fellow opener Michael Carberry (10), Vince continued to look to score runs quickely and he along with good support from Jimmy Adams (21), saw Hampshire accumulate nicely against an efficient Sussex bowling attack.

The away-side fought hard though and they were rewarded when both men fell in quick succession, partly thanks to two excellent catches from Ben Brown behind the stumps, who played a key role in reducing Hampshire to 87-4 with eight overs remaining.

However Owais Shah continued from his impressive half-century against Middlesex yesterday to again anchor the hosts’ innings as he combined with Adam Wheater (26) to steer Hampshire to 158-6 from their 20 overs.

In reply, three wickets falling inside the opening three overs left Sussex in disarray at 15-3 as Chris Wood combined with an athletic Will Smith who took an incredible one-handed catch, before Berg also stuck with his first wicket.

Following the disappointing start, Sussex recovered well thanks to Cachopa and Machan, and although some good bowling had restricted them inside the opening 10 overs, the pair began to accelerate after the half-way stage.

Further aggressive shot-making saw the score continue to tick over and as the required rate continued to fall, the opposition looked to have seized the momentum with both men continuing to bat well.

The pair eventually saw their side over the line with just more than an over to spare and despite the slow start, Sussex gave themselves enough time to secure an important win.

Words: Will Brewster