Luke Wright’s half-century was key aas Sussex Sharks claimed a 12-run victory in a low-scoring Clydesdale Bank 40 clash away to Northamptonshire Steelbacks.
The Sharks chose to bat but were bowled out for 180 inside 36 overs as Lee Daggett took 4-31. Wright top-scored by blasting 59 from 57 balls.
David Sales made 51 off 70 balls but the hosts fell short, being limited to just 168-7 from their full allocation of 40 overs.
The Sharks saw out nine overs before losing Ed Joyce for 23, with Matt Machan falling for a duck in the next over after facing five balls without scoring.
Three deliveries later, former Zimbabwe international Murray Goodwin followed him back to the pavilion without troubling the scorers when he edged Daggett to Sales at slip.
Wright completed an explosive half-century from just 44 balls but struggled for support, even if Michael Yardy went on to make 39 after the opener launched James Middlebrook (2-44) to David Willey at long on.
Ben Brown chipped in with 20 before he was trapped lbw by Con de Lange (3-31), with Yardy and the rest of the tail failing to add much more.
The Steelbacks lost Willey for five in the third over when he was bowled by Yardy and Kyle Coetzer followed for the same score when his off stump was taken out by Wright.
Opener Stephens Peters looked well set on 39 but threw his wicket away, while Sales hung around to reach 50 off 67 balls before he was trapped lbw by Will Beer (2-21).
Although the Steelbacks would avoid total collapse, they were fighting a losing battle on the run-rate front and eventually fell 13 runs short of their target.