Hat-trick hero Yasir Arafat believes Sussex have momentum to take into Saturday’s Twenty20 finals after they returned to the top of the Pro40 League.

Arafat returned after a finger injury to become the third Sussex bowler to take a hat-trick in the one-day league as the Sharks maintained their grip on the title with a nine-wicket hammering of Gloucestershire Gladiators at Horsham.

Arafat said: “That was my first in one-day cricket although I have had one in four-day cricket so it was a very special moment for me.

“We bowled well in the first 15 overs and it was a great way to finish the innings. It’s a great warm-up for Saturday. If we deliver the same performance in the finals as we did today we have a good chance of winning.”

Arafat will lead the attack in tomorrow’s crucial Championship match against Worcestershire and James Kirtley did his chances of a recall no harm after taking 3-29.

Coach Mark Robinson said: “James’s professionalism never ceases to amaze me. He was gutted when Pepler Sandri was picked ahead of him (against Nottinghamshire) last week but he took it on the chin, prepared himself properly and ran in hard. James has put his hat in the ring – anyone who writes him off is making a big mistake.”