Essex skipper Ryan ten Doeschate praised the bowling of David Wiese, Jofra Archer and Rashid Khan, after watching his side fall to a 36-run defeat to Sussex Sharks at Chelmsford.
The match had started off in Essex’s favour when Jamie Porter cleaned bowled Luke Wright in the first over, but at 32-3 in the sixth over Laurie Evans (61) and Michael Burgess (56) combined to revitalise the Sharks innings, which finished 181-6.
And it was to be the tenacity of Sussex’s attack that ten Doeschate would end up ruing.
Opening their accounts in the first match of this year’s Vitality T20 Blast, the Sussex trio of Wiese, Archer and Khan lived up to the pre-tournament hype surrounding them with displays that will only enhance their stock in the 20-over format.
Wiese proved most destructive, taking 5-24, as ten Doeschate admitted he felt his side had well fallen short with the bat in posting 145 all out.
“We weren’t good enough. They probably got 20 more than we’d like, and we fell 20 short. 170 or so and we might have put in a better batting display. But it wasn’t to be.
“They had two world-class bowlers there and we always knew it was going to be tough. The pressure was always on,” ten Doeschate added, with Archer claiming 3-24 and Khan 2-25 on his debut.
“I’ve just spoken to the team up there. I don’t think we were bad, in fact I thought we were very good for the majority, or big parts of our bowling innings. We let ourselves down when we had them on the ropes. They only played five batters and I thought that was a gamble.”
Kolpak player Wiese clinched his five-fer by cleaning up Adam Zampa for a duck, while the new Eagles recruit bowled for 1-30 from three overs.
Ten Doeschate will be hoping for a different result when Middlesex travel to the Cloudfm County Ground on Friday, while Sussex stay on the road and make the trip to Cardiff to play Glamorgan on Sunday.