DIRECTOR of cricket John Bracewell praised Jack Taylor for the way he handled the pressure in Gloucestershire’s 13-run win over Sussex, which kept their hopes of reaching the quarter finals alive.
The 22-year-old off-spinner took 3-12 off 2.4 overs and kept his nerve at the death as Sussex were bowled out for 125 in a game reduced to 15 overs per side.
The wicket of Ben Brown when 26 were needed from 15 balls with four wickets still in hand proved decisive.
Sussex’s decision to bowl first following a rain-delayed start backfired as their innings ended in darkness after Ian Cockbain smashed 52 off 36 balls, including four fours and three sixes, in Gloucestershire’s 138-7.
Bracewell said: “Jack had to bowl at the short end with the wind which was a great over,.
"And to come back and bowl like that in the death over was an outstanding execution of the skills."
After the early loss of Chris Dent (7), Alex Gidman and Ian Cockbain plundered 68 runs for the second wicket to put Gloucestershire in a commanding position at 80-1.
However, Will Beer (2-21) removed Gidman (22) and Adam Rouse (0) in the space of three balls to put the brakes on and Gloucestershire lost their way with six wickets going for 35 runs.
Graeme McCarter (16no) hit 14 off the first three balls of Lewis Hatchett’s final over to give Gloucestershire a competitive total, and Will Gidman finished on 26 not out.
Sussex were soon reduced to 4-2 with Will Gidman (2-27) removing England international Luke Wright for nought and David Payne (2-14) claiming the wicket of Luke Wells (3), both neatly caught by Rouse.
Skipper Chris Nash kick-started the innings with 25 off just 10 balls, while Matt Machan (28), Harry Finch (16), Ben Brown (19) and Beer (18) kept them in the hunt.
Sussex went into the last over bowled by Taylor requiring 18 to win and Beer’s huge hit off the second ball appeared to be going for six, only for Hamish Marshall to pluck the ball out of the air at full stretch at deep mid-wicket and hold on superbly inches inside the rope.
Alex Gidman then caught last man Hatchett running backwards to seal the win with two balls to spare.