Yasir Arafat and Will Beer were the heroes as Sussex pulled off an unlikely win over Durham in the Roya London One-Day Cup at Hove.
The pair put on a record partnership for the eighth wicket of 97 as the Sharks recovered from 191-7 to chase down Durham’s total of 287-8 with 11 balls to spare.
Arafat smashed an unbeaten 55 and Beer a career-best 45 to lift Sussex off the bottom of group B and keep their hopes of progressing in the competition alive.
Scott Borthwick, Paul Collingwood and Mark Stoneman had all made half centuries as Durham set a very competitive total after winning the toss.
Borthwick and Graham Onions then both claimed three wickets as Sussex looked to be sliding to defeat before Arafat and Beer rode to the rescue.
Durham had got off to a solid if unspectacular start after winning the toss and electing to bat with Stoneman and Phil Mustard scored 47 from the ten over powerplay.
Mustard was dropped by Ed Joyce at slip when on eight and went on to make 39 before he was run out at the non-strikers end thanks to some good work by Chris Liddle and Stefan Piolet.
Chris Liddle got rid of Stoneman after the Durham opener had completed his half century off 62 balls but that did not slow down their scoring rate.
Scott Borthwick and Paul Collingwood added 74 for the fourth wicket off just 63 balls with Lewis Hatchett and Chris Liddle coming in for particular punishment.
Borthwick launched Liddle for the only six of the innings to bring up his 50 before holing out to a good catch on the midwicket boundary by Craig Cachopa for 67.
Collingwood smacked 67 off 57 balls and Durham would probably have reached 300 if he had not been bowled by a yorker from Yasir Arafat in the 48th over.
Arafat also dismissed Gareth Breese and Gordon Muchall in successive balls in the final over to finish with figures of 3-47 while Piolet was economical once again with 1-43.
Sussex’s reply got off to the worst possible start when Chris Nash was bowled by a superb ball from Onions in the second over.
Ed Joyce and Luke Wright both got going but were unable to push on to play the kind of match-winning innings that Sussex required.
Wright hit 36 off 29 balls before pulling Onions straight to the fielder on the midwicket boundary while Joyce was caught behind for 26 attempting to angle a ball from John Hastings to third man.
Craig Cachopa and Matt Machan kept Sussex well on top of the run rate but were unable to hang around to see the job through.
Cachopa hit three sixes in his run-a-ball 39 before slicing Borthwick to Hastings at cover and Machan was on 33 when he became Onions’ third victim.
Borthwick continued his impressive all round display by bowling Piolet and Ben Brown with googlies to seemingly end Sussex’s hopes.
But Arafat and Beer slowly got the Sharks back into the game and the Durham bowlers started to lose their composure.
With five overs to go the game was still in the balance with Sussex still requiring 39 but the visitors self-destructed with John Hastings bowling two no-balls and one wide in the penultimate over to hand the win to the Sharks.
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