Sussex slumped to their fifth consecutive defeat in the NatWest T20 Blast as they lost by 34 runs to Somerset at Arundel Castle.

Craig Kieswetter blasted 70 from 49 balls as Somerset made 163-4 after being put into bat by Sussex skipper Ed Joyce.

Sussex never threatened to get anywhere near that total as they were bowled out for 129 in reply, Dirk Nannes finishing with 5-31.

The result saw Somerset leapfrog Sussex into sixth spot in the south division and leaves the Sharks desperately needing to turn their fortunes around at Kent on Friday if they are to qualify for the quarter-finals.

Somerset got off to a flying start after being put into bat with Kieswetter and Chris Jones bringing the 50 up from just 31 balls.

Sussex began to peg them back after the powerplay came to an end and Somerset’s momentum was not helped when Jones holed out to long-off for 18 off Piolet.

Piolet also picked up the wicket of Peter Trego for 17 as he finished with excellent figures of 2-24 from four overs.

Kieswetter kept the scoreboard ticking over as he reached his 50 off 38 balls. He brought up Somerset’s 100 by driving Will Beer for four with their second 50 taking 48 balls.

Kieswetter eventually holed out to Beer at long-off having made 70 from 49 balls to give Chris Liddle (1-41) his only wicket.

Craig Meschede blasted Beer for a six but then picked out the man on the midwicket boundary but Alviro Petersen made an unbeaten 29 to help Somerset add 47 from the last five overs and get them up to a very competitive total.

Sussex rejigged their batting order in a bid to turn their fortunes around with Chris Nash replacing Matt Machan as Luke Wright’s opening partner.

Nash made a positive start but having made 11 from six balls was caught at mid-on off the bowling of Dirk Nannes.

Sussex’s hopes of ending their losing streak took a massive blow when Wright was bowled by Alfonso Thomas for 19 with Rory Hamilton-Brown following him back to the pavilion when he was stumped for one.

The Sharks were already well behind the run rate and their hopes were virtually ended when Machan and Joyce departed in the space of two balls.

Arafat at least gave the Sussex fans something to cheer with a quickfire unbeaten 36 from 23 balls but Nannes wrapped up the contest by taking three wickets in the penultimate over .