Luke Wright on his way to a fantastic 127 from 115 balls today at Hove
Sussex’s Luke Wright produced a superb hundred, but Jacques Rudolph trumped him with an even better one of his own to see Glamorgan to victory in their final Royal London One-Day Cup match, at The BrightonandHoveJobs.com County Ground, Hove this evening.
The 33-year-old South African opener made a career best 169 to guide his side to a seven-wicket win as they chased down a Duckworth-Lewis adjusted target of 329 with eight balls to spare.
Rudolph’s innings was also the highest score in List A matches by a Glamorgan batsman, beating Sir Viv Richards’ 162 against Oxfordshire in 1992.
Wright had earlier taken full toll of some wayward Welsh bowling to score 127 from 115 balls - his second century in four days – before Rudolph shredded the Sharks' attack to score his third century in this season’s competition.
The South African was on 131 when he made his only blemish, but Yasir Arafat dropped a difficult return catch in his follow-through as he tried to intercept a waist-high straight drive.
Otherwise, Rudolph gave a master class in timing and placement as he followed earlier hundreds against Somerset and Nottinghamshire to take his competition aggregate to 733 runs.
On a superb pitch a weakened Sussex attack, which included 18-year-old Academy product Fynn Hudson-Prentice on his debut, found there was no margin for error.
Rudolph lost opening partner Jim Allenby, who was caught and bowled by Lewis Hatchett, in the seventh over but he ticked over at a run a ball thereafter to ease to the 16th List A century of his career.
Gareth Rees helped him set up victory with a second-wicket stand of 173 in 26 overs before Rees (60) was sent back by his partner looking for a single into the leg side and beaten by Ed Joyce’s throw.
It gave the hosts a glimmer of hope but that was soon extinguished by former Sussex player Murray Goodwin, who took four boundaries off Hatchett in an over during the second power play as he raced to a 26-ball half-century.
Yasir Arafat had Goodwin lbw playing across the line for 59 in the 44th over, after a partnership of 100 in 10.3 overs for the third wicket, but Glamorgan needed just 25 more at that stage and Rudolph fittingly hit the winning runs with his 17th boundary. He also struck three sixes in 150 balls faced.
Wright certainly didn’t deserved to be on the losing side after scoring his fifth hundred of the season in all cricket to take his aggregate in the one-day formats to 993 as the Sharks piled up 323 for 3 from 48 overs. He also became the first Sussex batsman to score a hundred in all three formats in the same season.
It was a chanceless ninth List A hundred of his career and also his highest one-day score for the county.
Wright added 71 for the first wicket with Chris Nash (24) and 99 in 18 overs with Craig Cachopa (45) but the acceleration came when Wright and Harry Finch, in only his second List A appearance, plundered 79 in nine overs. Wright was eventually caught off a big top edge aiming to drive down the ground, having faced 115 balls with 14 boundaries and four sixes.
Finch upped the tempo and his unbeaten 92 contained 12 fours and two sixes as he plundered 71 from 55 balls in an unbroken fourth-wicket stand with Machan (27 not out. But as it turned out Sussex’s highest one-day score against Glamorgan wasn’t enough to subdue the peerless Rudolph.
WATCH: Hear the thoughts of Luke Wright after the close of play this evening as he spoke to BBC Sussex Sport. Just follow the link above to watch (via the Sussex TV YouTube Channel)