Napier magic sinks Sharks
Eagles all-rounder helps himself to record breaking 152 not out
By Joe Drabble. Last Updated: 24/06/08 10:38pm
Napier: 152 off 58 balls
Twenty20 Cup - South Division
Essex 242-3 Innings Complete (G R Napier 152 no) v Sussex 114
Essex beat Sussex by 128 runs
Graham Napier smashed the highest ever domestic Twenty20 score as he blasted an unbeaten 152 off 58 balls to help Essex to their biggest ever winning margin in the competition over Sussex.
The Eagles all-rounder was in scintillating touch as he blazed 10 fours and 16 sixes in his side's highest ever competition total of 242-3 in front of the Sky cameras.
The 16 sixes hit surpassed Mark Ealham's previous record of nine in the competition - Sussex bowlers James Kirtley (4-0-67-0) and Dwayne Smith (2-0-33-0) receiving particular punishment.
The Sharks never looked like chasing the target - Maurice Chambers (3-31) and James Middlebrook (3-13) were the pick of the Essex bowlers and helped ensure a record win for the hosts.
The early wicket of captain Mark Pettini for just four gave Napier optimum time to tuck into the Sussex bowling attack, and he, along with James Foster, produced an array of brutal shots which had all sections of the Chelmsford crowd ducking for cover.
A breathtaking partnership of 119 between the pair saw Napier surpass his century and Essex move past 200 - Sussex captain Chris Adams could only look on in amazement as he watched his bowlers being pummelled into submission.
Sussex started their run chase with plenty of positive intent, however once Murray Goodwin (23) and Smith (21) had both departed all faint hopes of an unlikely victory soon vanished with the summer sun.
The win sees Essex move into third place on 10 points with just two games remaining.