A dodgy weather forecast put the skids under Sussex’s hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Royal London One Day Cup last night.

Sussex elected to bat first after winning the toss and the decision backfired on them as the heavens opened midway through Middlesex’s innings to hand the visitors victory.

The hosts had themselves to blame too after they threw away a positive start to their innings to slip from 122-1 to set a target of 248-9.

Middlesex were cruising at 81-1 when the rain blew in after 18 overs to hand them victory by 21 runs on the Duckworth/Lewis method.

Coach Mark Robinson said: “The forecast we got was there wasn’t going to be any rain. First of all we thought there was going to be rain about four o’clock for half an hour and then at the toss the forecast said there was going to be no rain at all.

“For the forecast to then change was not ideal but what can you do? We might have won if we had bowled first but you will never know now.

“The game was ruined by the weather but we still should have got 280 or 290. You’ve got to give them credit as they bowled well but we probably self-destructed a little bit.

“We lost some intent to score and dug ourselves into a hole. We went into our shells when we needed to be positive but that is something we need to learn from.”