David Wiese says it would be “fantastic” for Sussex to stage a big T20 knockout tie at Hove.

But the big-hitting South African reckons the priority simply has to be a top-four finish as they aim to regain winning form in the Vitality Blast.

Sharks’ spot at the top of the South Group survived last night after Kent lost by one run at home to Surrey.

But they now lead both Kent and Gloucestershire, who beat Somerset last night, by just one point.

Sussex have 15 points from 11 games while Gloucestershire and Kent are on 14 from 12. Middlesex have 13 points and fifth-placed Somerset 11, both from 11.

A win for Luke Wright’s men would certainly be timely as they visit Middlesex at Uxbridge today (2.30pm).

Conversely, a third defeat in as many completed matches could really tighten things up going into the final week of qualifying fixtures.

Wiese did as much as anyone to try and rescue a win over Essex on Thursday before Sussex went down by nine runs.

He accepts Sharks, who also lost at Surrey, have hit a testing period.

But there is still time to regain momentum and produce a big finish similar to that which saw them qualify in their final fixture last season.

He told The Argus: “I think when you get off to such a good start, you can almost just relax a little bit and all of a sudden you find yourself loss, loss, loss.

“Suddenly that home quarter-final you were looking at seems a bit further away and you start fixating on that. You forget about the job in hand.

“The first priority is to make sure you get into the top four.

“Then you are just one win away from Finals Day and anything can happen on the day.

“If we get that home quarter-final, it would be fantastic to hopefully play in front of another sell-out crowd.”

Sussex were fielding a Dream Team earlier in the competition, notably on that Friday night when Jofra Archer, Alex Carey, Rashid Khan and Tymal Mills all coincided.

Archer’s two Blast appearances were a bonus and Sussex knew the contributions of Carey and Khan would be limited by international commitments at either end of the Blast.

The loss of Mills to a back problem is an unexpected and unwelcome development given the pace, control and variation he consistently showed in the Blast this year.

Delray Rawlins is still away with Bermuda.

On the flipside, Reece Topley has been a plus and Jason Behrendorff flew over last week for a debut which was hard going at times.

Wiese said: “We were missing Del and he has been in good form.

“T (Mills) has bowled nicely for us throughout the season.

“It is a pity he has picked up that injury now because I thought maybe higher honours were beckoning for him again, the way he was bowling.

“Those are two big gaps that were left.

“We are now missing Rashid Khan and he is a world class bowler.

“But we have got Jason Behrendorff in now and he is also a quality, world class bowler. It’s not all doom and gloom.”

Sussex have added Ben Brown to what is now a 13-man squad for the Middlesex game.

They could bring in Ollie Robinson given his excellent record against Middlesex across the formats.


Today: Middlesex v Sussex, Somerset v Glamorgan.

Tomorrow: Hampshire v Essex.

Monday: Glamorgan v Sussex.

Tuesday: Surrey v Somerset.

Thursday: Hampshire v Middlesex, Surrey v Essex, Kent v Gloucestershire.

Friday: Essex v Kent, Glamorgan v Hampshire, Somerset v Middlesex, Sussex v Gloucestershire.