T20 Blast: Sussex maintain perfect start while Surrey make Oval record in first win
Sussex maintained their 100% start to the T20 Blast with a third win from three matches as they beat One-Day Cup winners Hampshire by eight wickets.
Luke Wright (68) and Laurie Evans (55 not out) guided the Sharks to a target of 159 with 10 balls to spare.
Meanwhile Surrey registered a first win of the campaign with their highest T20 total at The Oval as they beat Essex Eagles by 39 runs.
Rikki Clarke’s 48 not out off 20 balls powered them to an unassailable 222-4.
There were also half-centuries from Australia opener Aaron Finch (58) and Ben Foakes (56) that provided the platform for the win that came after defeats against Middlesex and Kent in their opening two games.
It may have been a different story had Essex not dropped Finch and Foakes on just 16 and 17 respectively. Eagles all-rounder Matt Coles also conceded 25 off his final over as Surrey finished just two runs short of their highest T20 total.
Essex made a promising start in reply as Adam Wheater (30) and Varun Chopra (67) put on 56 for the first wicket inside five overs.
But when Gareth Batty dismissed Tom Westley (23) and Ravi Bopara (2) in the space of three balls at 105-3 in the 12th over, the game was as good as over.
Batty finished with 3-36 in his four overs while seamer Mathew Pillans also claimed 3-34 in Essex’s 183-7.
Surrey travel to Sussex on Friday, who are already two points clear of Kent at the top of the South Group following their win at Hampshire.
Three wickets apiece from Jofra Archer (3-26) and former Hampshire spinner Danny Briggs (3-29) restricted the hosts to 158-7 at the Ageas Bowl.
Tom Alsop finished unbeaten on 35 as Hampshire struggled for partnerships after a promising start from openers James Vince and Colin Munro (both 30).
Wright and Evans put on 96 for the second wicket with Evans reaching his third half-century in as many innings off just 32 balls.
Hampshire, who have lost their first two matches, face second-placed Kent at Beckenham on Friday when there are eight matches in all across the North and South Groups.