Sussex into Vitality Blast Finals Day for fifth time as Rashid Khan’s 27no off nine balls sees Sharks to five-wicket win over Yorkshire at Durham; Mark Butcher questions beaten side’s decision to bring in boundaries and try to mirror Headingley as they are knocked out after electing to bat
Last Updated: 24/08/21 10:29pm
Rashid Khan hit a brilliant late 27 not out from just nine balls as Sussex squeezed past Yorkshire to become the first side to reach Vitality Blast Finals Day.
Afghanistan all-rounder Rashid came to the crease in the 17th over of Tuesday’s quarter-final in Durham with Sussex needing 43 from 21 balls to overhaul Yorkshire’s total of 177-7.
The 22-year-old smoked the second ball he faced for six before hitting another maximum in the 18th over via an extraordinary helicopter shot and then three fours in Yorkshire captain David Willey’s 19th, including a powerful drive through extra-cover and a stunning paddle over square leg.
That left six required from the final over and after a couple of singles and a dot ball, Chris Jordan hauled the winning four through the leg-side to shatter Yorkshire’s hopes of making it to Finals Day for the first time since 2016 and just the third time ever.
Luke Wright (54 off 39), who was dropped on 31 and bossed an opening stand of 72 inside nine overs with Phil Salt (27 off 25), top-scored for Sussex before being bowled by Adil Rashid during a Yorkshire fightback.
But the Vikings’ sloppy fielding and Rashid’s fireworks meant it was Wright’s side – for whom Delray Rawlins (27 off 20) and David Wiese (19 off 15) also contributed with the bat – who qualified for the Edgbaston showpiece on September 18.
2018 runners-up Sussex will be joined at Finals Day by the winners of this week’s three remaining quarter-finals – Notts Outlaws vs Hampshire Hawks (Wednesday), Somerset vs Lancashire Lightning (Thursday) and Kent Spitfires vs Birmingham Bears (Friday).
The only disappointment for Sussex is that Rashid – who picked up figures of 1-25 from four overs with his leg-spin against Yorkshire – will not be available for Finals Day next month.
YORKSHIRE KNOCKED OUT IN ‘HOME’ QUARTER-FINAL
Yorkshire were playing their home quarter-final in Durham due to Emerald Headingley being used for this week’s Test match between England and India and more local venues York and Scarborough not having floodlights or the facilities to host live TV cameras.
The boundaries were brought in to mirror Headingley (more on that controversial point later) but Yorkshire were unable to hit too many in the first half of their innings as Sussex’s attack, including Rashid and fellow leg-spinner, 17-year-old Archie Lenham (1-19), strangled the rate.
The Vikings were 33-3 after five overs – Adam Lyth (6), David Willey (16) and Harry Brook (1) the men out – and 75-3 after 11, but then managed to score 102 runs from their final nine overs, with Gary Ballance (55 off 37) and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (55 off 49) igniting after steady starts and Jordan Thompson adding 16 off eight deliveries.
Notts vs Hants
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BUTCHER DISLIKES BROUGHT-IN BOUNDARIES
With Yorkshire the home side, they attempted to make the large Chester-le-Street playing surface replicate their usual stomping ground of Headingley – where they won six times in the group stage – by bringing in the boundaries. It was a decision Mark Butcher did not like one bit…
“You turn up with the team you have got and go ‘we are good enough to come here and beat you.'” said the Sky Sports Cricket expert and commentator, who compared the scene to a Subbuteo pitch!
“If you decide to manufacture the dimensions of a cricket ground in order to give you an advantage over a team then the chances are you don’t think you are that good a team. I don’t like it.
“We have one of the biggest playing areas in the country at Durham and half of it hasn’t been used. We have some of the best leg-spin bowlers in the world, on both sides, and we have a boundary I fancy myself to chip the odd one over. Cricket sometimes does itself no favours whatsoever.”
Butcher had questioned Yorkshire’s decision to bat first with such small boundaries and after their defeat, he added: “Defending on this was always going to be difficult. If you are going to have the boundaries this short, why would you want to defend with dew and everything else?
“All it takes is one guy to tag a bowler once and the game is done. That man was Rashid Khan.”
THE TWO RASHIDS TALK SPIN
Rashid Khan and Adil Rashid discussed their craft before the game with Rob Key, talking about how they started bowling, the differences between them and what they make of each other’s style. It was a fascinating insight so make sure you watch it by clicking the video below!
MIXED EVENING FOR FIELDERS
Some of the good…
And some of the bad…
WHAT THEY SAID
Player of the Match, RASHID KHAN: “I just needed to back my skills, and thanks to the coaching staff for sending me in a bit earlier to finish the game. I tried my best to stay still and do the basics right – to hit my own ball. They bowled where I wanted it and I finished it off well.
“I’m so happy to see the team in the finals twice since I’ve been in the team (the other in 2018). But it’s a shame I won’t be available for them at Finals Day. Every player would love to be there.”
Yorkshire captain DAVID WILLEY: “I think we thought we were a few under par because we had the best of the conditions. It was probably better to bat in the first half. We just didn’t do the basics well enough in the field, and it cost us. I don’t think it was anything to do with conditions.
“The pitch got lower, and it was difficult for them to hit. But Rashid managed to bang it quite nicely for them. So credit to them and good luck at Finals Day
We are off to Trent Bridge on Wednesday for the last-eight date between 2017 and 2020 Blast champions Notts and 2010 and 20212 winners Hampshire. Join us live on Sky Sports Cricket from 6.55pm.