|Vitality T20 Blast quarter-final, Emirates Riverside
|Yorkshire 177-7 (20 overs): Ballance 55, Kohler-Cadmore 55; Mills 3-39
|Sussex 178-5 (19.4 overs): Wright 54; Thompson 3-28
Sussex Sharks reached T20 Blast Finals Day for the first time since 2018 with a five-wicket win over Yorkshire.
Luke Wright set them on their way with 54 and Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan hit an unbeaten 27 off nine deliveries as they reached 178-5 with two balls to spare.
Yorkshire opted to bat first and, despite losing three early wickets, Gary Ballance and Tom Kohler-Cadmore both made 55 to see them to 177-7.
Jordan Thompson then took 3-28 but the Sharks timed their chase perfectly.
Yorkshire went into the game without their leading wicket-taker, Lockie Ferguson, because of Covid, while both sides had players absent due to England duties – Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Dawid Malan for the Vikings, plus Sussex’s Ollie Robinson.
Vikings choose shorter boundaries
With the match switched to Durham’s Riverside ground because Headingley is to be used for the third Test against India on Wednesday, Yorkshire had the rope brought in to match the boundary dimensions of their usual home.
The move did not pay off initially as Adam Lyth, David Willey and Harry Brook departed inside five overs – the latter, who scored 485 runs during the group stage, trapped lbw by Khan as he tried to sweep.
Kohler-Cadmore lacked his usual fluency at the start of his innings, but Ballance raced to 50 to lift the scoring rate before he was caught by Khan off George Garton.
After that, Kohler-Cadmore finally found his touch to bring up his own half-century before he was caught off Tymal Mills (3-39) as the Vikings added 107 in the final 10 overs.
Openers set up run chase
The two sides had only met twice previously in T20 matches – with the side batting first victorious on both occasions.
Sussex, though, were given a flying start by Wright and opening partner Phil Salt, who put on 72 in eight overs.
Wright was dropped on 31 as wicketkeeper Harry Duke made a hash of a skier – not an isolated fielding lapse by the Vikings – and he hit a six and six fours in his 39-ball knock before he was bowled trying to slog-sweep Adil Rashid.
All-rounder Thompson was the pick of the home attack, removing Salt, Ravi Bopara and David Wiese as Sussex were left needing 35 from the final 18 balls.
Despite the pressure, Khan’s audacious stroke play brought him two sixes and three fours as he carried them to the brink of victory before Chris Jordan hit the winning boundary.
Khan will, however, not be available for Finals Day at Edgbaston on 18 September, when Sussex will try to repeat their triumph of 2009 in a competition then called the Twenty20 Cup.
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.
“Rashid managed to bang it quite nicely for them. So credit to them and good luck at Finals Day.”
Sussex 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. They bowled where I wanted it, and I finished it off well.
“But it’s a shame I won’t be available for them at Finals Day. Every player would love to be there.”
Wednesday (19:00 BST start)
Notts Outlaws v Hampshire Hawks
Somerset v Lancashire Lightning
Kent Spitfires v Birmingham Bears