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Arafat seals dramatic last-ball victory for Sussex
Yasir Arafat hit the final two balls for four as Sussex clinched a dramatic victory over Surrey in the NatWest T20 Blast at Hove.
Surrey looked to be on course for victory when Jade Dernbach dismissed Chris Jordan with four balls to go and Sussex needing 15 more to win.
But Ben Brown smashed a six and then, after scampering a single, Arafat hit the first two balls he faced to the boundary.
The first was driven through extra cover while the final ball was edged agonisingly past the wicketkeeper to the joy of the majority of the 4,600 crowd.
While Arafat was the last-gasp hero Sussex were indebted to Luke Wright for a 31-ball 56 which kept them in the hunt to chase down Surrey’s total of 171-7.
Half centuries from Jason Roy and Gary Wilson provided the backbone to Surrey’s innings after they had got off to a slow start.
Both reached their 50s off 37 balls as Surrey accelerated from 72-2 after 11 overs to score 99 in the last nine overs.
Their total was boosted by a 12-ball 23 from Azhar Mahmood at the death with only Mike Yardy escaping punishment as he finished with figures of 1-19 from four overs.
Ashar Zaidi took three wickets on his Twenty20 debut for Sussex, including the key one of Gary Wilson just when he was threatening to cut loose, while there was a wicket apiece for seamers Chris Liddle, Arafat and Chris Jordan.
Sussex’s reply started poorly as they lost Matt Machan, Ed Joyce and Mike Yardy cheaply before a partnership of 55 between Wright and Hamilton-Brown got them back on track.
Wright brought up his 50 by launching Robin Peterson for six but was out in the next over and when Hamilton-Brown (30) and Zaidi followed in consecutive balls Surrey were hot favourites.
Chris Nash (21) and Jordan (16) kept Sussex in the hunt and when they departed up stepped Brown and Arafat to finish the job in spectacular fashion.
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