Essex come up short in run chase as Sussex remain unbeaten
|Friends Life t20, Hove|
|Sussex 209-6 (20 overs) beat Essex 190 (20 overs) by 19 runs|
Sussex remain unbeaten in this year's FL t20 after they beat Essex by 19 runs in a high-scoring clash at Hove.
The hosts batted first and reached 209-5, the second highest total by any team in this year's competition.
Chris Nash made 52, Joe Gatting scored 45 not out and Luke Wright added 40, while Reece Topley took three wickets.
James Foster blasted 47 off 20 balls, Mark Pettini scored a rapid 44 and Greg Smith reached 39 but it was not enough as Essex fell 19 short on 190 all out.
This match was a meeting of the top two in the South Group with Essex aiming for their fourth victory in five days.
But that task soon looked beyond them as each of the Sussex top six scored at a rate of more than a run a ball.
Nash, Wright, Scott Styris and Gatting all hit two sixes apiece as the crowd at Hove were treated to an entertaining match.
Topley, 18, claimed the second best figures in his T20 career as he took 3-43, to go along with the 3-28 he claimed in Essex's three-wicket win against Surrey on Friday.
Essex's need to score quickly saw Pettini and Graham Napier both run out and the dismissal of Ryan ten Doeschate left them on 86-4 and seemed to end their chances.
However, Foster gave Essex hope with a blistering 47 before he became one of three men to fall to Chris Liddle.
Group leaders Sussex now have eight points from their five matches, with Essex two points behind in second.
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Essex coach Paul Grayson told BBC Essex:
"It was a good effort - Sussex batted very well, I thought we bowled OK, I thought our fielding was OK at times.
"We said this morning, this is probably going to be our toughest game this season in this competition.
"They got a good score, but I thought we gave it a good go.
"Sometimes in sport, you've got to take your medicine and they were probably a better side than us."