Moeen Ali produced the goods with bat and ball for a second time today as Worcestershire clinched the Vitality Blast title after an exciting day’s cricket.
Moeen Ali continued his excellent form from their semi-final victory earlier in the day against Lancashire, recording figures of 4-0-30-3 (econ 7.50). Ali’s haul included the wickets of Sussex’s own semi-final heroes Luke Wright (33 off 25, three fours two sixes) and David Wiese (6).
Laurie Evans top-scored for Sussex with 52 runs off 44 balls (four fours, two sixes) before being bowled by Ali at the start of the 18th over, leaving Sussex tentatively placed at 138-5. Sussex finished on 157-6 off their 20 overs, setting Worcestershire a run rate of 7.85 to take the crown.
Joe Clarke and Ali got off to a flying start, bringing up their fifty partnership inside six overs. The following over Clarke edged Danny Briggs behind and was caught by wicketkeeper Michael Burgess for 33 off 27 balls (four fours) with the score on 61.
Three wickets in four overs followed – including that of Ali after a well played 41 off 27 balls (six fours, one six, S/R 151.85) – to put the match back in the balance with Worcestershire 90-4 off 11.5 overs.
Ben Cox and Ross Whiteley added a sluggish 36 for the fifth wicket before Whiteley was caught superbly by a diving Chris Jordan at long on for 14 off 17 balls.
As the required run rate topped 10 to the over, Cox stepped up to the plate, hitting a six and a four off the 18th over bowled by Jordan, followed by a six and a four off consecutive balls in the 19th over to take Worcestershire to a sensational five-wicket with nine balls in hand.
Have you ever seen a run out like this before?!
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) September 15, 2018
It was an incredible inning played by Cox, who took Worcestershire from a somewhat tenuous position to victory with time to spare. Cox’s 46 came off just 27 balls with five fours and two sixes (S/R 170.37).
Danny Briggs (2-19, econ 4.75) and Will Beer (2-32, econ 8.00) were the pick of the Sussex bowlers.
Cox’s innings is likely to earn him the Player of the Match honours, although Moeen Ali would be a deserved recipient after two terrific performances with bat and ball in both of today’s matches in what has been a thrilling day of T20 cricket.
Photo: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images