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Sussex end MCC hopes in Dubai Published: 22 March 2013

Sussex end MCC hopes in Dubai

MCC's below-par 115 was not enough to secure victory in the semi-final of the Emirates Airline t20 in Dubai, as Sussex sailed to a six-wicket victory.

After winning the toss, Sussex captain Chris Nash inserted MCC in beautiful sunshine but on a sluggish wicket at 7he Sevens Ground in Dubai.

Watch: MCC beaten by Sussex

The Club’s opening pairing of Jimmy Adams and Rahul Dravid started steadily, reaching 36 before Adams fell for 13 to Sussex’s Andrew Miller in the seventh over.

It was a difficult game

Dravid batted with the customary composure he showed in a match-winning knock of 68 the previous days, masterfully mixing resolute defence with four boundaries in a classy 26 from 33 balls.

However, his departure, and the cheap dismissals of Kent’s Sam Northeast (3) and captain Dale Benkenstein (2) left MCC wobbling on 63 for 4 after 13 overs.

A forty run partnership between Middlesex team-mates Joe Denly and Dawid Malan formed the main-stay of the MCC innings, as both batsmen looked to increase the scoring rate by clearing the ropes.

In the other semi final, Lancashire Lightening were the victims of a shock five wicket defeat against a Fly Emirates XI. Sussex went on to lift the trophy, beating the Fly Emirates XI in the final fixture.

Malan was eventually dismissed for a sprightly 21 from just 19 balls, while Denly batted through to the end of the innings, finishing unbeaten on 29, as the Club closed on a respectable, but not insurmountable 115 for 6.

In reply Sussex scored steadily throughout the innings, to secure victory in the eighteenth over, for the loss of just four wickets - Rory Hamilton-Brown top scoring with 29.

Seamer Steve Kirby bowled with excellent control but without much luck, sending down four wicketless overs for just ten runs. In contrast, his Somerset county sidekick Peter Trego was expensive with the new ball from the other end, conceding 25 runs from his three overs.

Young Oxford MCC Universities bowler, Charlie Ellison, continued to show his great promise, taking two late wickets in two balls to help stem the scoring rate. The match was already out of MCC’s reach however, as Sussex wicket-keeper Ben Brown finished proceedings in style with a towering six over midwicket.

Speaking after the match, Steve Kirby said: "It was a difficult game, but ultimately we just didn’t get enough runs – 115 on that pitch was probably around 25 runs light.

"As a batting group we should really have done a little bit better, which put us under a lot of pressure in the field.

"We did have a couple of good early opportunities to take a couple of wickets, but unfortunately we didn’t take those chances, so it turned into a game of "what ifs".

"Credit to Sussex, but this was a big blow for us, especially because we played so well yesterday."

In the other semi final, Lancashire Lightening were the victims of a shock five wicket defeat against a Fly Emirates XI. Sussex went on to lift the trophy, beating the Fly Emirates XI in the final fixture.


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