Sussex's slim hopes of reaching the knock-out stages of the FL t20 were completely extinguished as they suffered another defeat in the final over against Essex.

Matt Machan scored 57 and Rory Hamilton-Brown 43 as the Sharks posted a total of 171-9 from their 20 over at Chelmsford.

Owais Shah (40) and Ravi Bopara (35) kept Essex on course for their target before Ryan ten Doeschate (42 from 26 balls) and James Foster (27 from 15) finished the job.

It is Sussex's fifth defeat in six games in the competition - with all of them coming in the final over - and leaves them second from bottom in the South Group.

Machan continued his fine form as he scored a career best t20 score from just 30 balls, including eight fours and one six. The Scotland international put on 62 from 45 balls for the second wicket with Hamilton-Brown before his departure saw Sussex lose all momentum.

Shaun Tait picked up the wickets of Chris Nash, Scott Styris and Joe Gatting - in for the injured Luke Wright - in quick succession on his way to figures of 4-26.

A total of 171 was always going to be difficult to defend at Chelmsford but Chris Jordan gave Sussex hope by removing both openers Hamish Rutherford and Greg Smith.

Shah and Bopara added 56 for the third wicket before Foster and ten Doeschate picked up the challenge with Essex still needing 51 from the last five overs.

Jordan's penultimate over cost 17, however, and despite a good final over from Chris Liddle - the 19th - Essex were left needing just six from the last over which they managed with four balls to spare.