Sussex edge past Middlesex
Miserly bowling from Yasir Arafat guided Sussex to their second straight Twenty20 Blast victory, in a 13-run win over Middlesex at Lord's.
The Pakistan pace bowler blasted two fours from the final two balls to edge Sussex to Friday night victory over Surrey in Brighton.
A day later in St John's Wood the 32-year-old returned bowling figures of one for 17 from four overs as Middlesex slumped to two home defeats in the day.
The hosts were chasing 129 for victory and had expected to coast home.
Arafat and Chris Jordan had other ideas, though, restricting Middlesex to 115 for six.
Middlesex earlier lost a high-scoring affair with Essex by eight wickets, despite Dawid Malan's unbeaten 86.
Malan's measured 23 against Sussex and 30 from captain Eoin Morgan proved in vain, though, as the hosts endured a wretched, winless day.
Daniel Christian and Toby Roland-Jones had turned Middlesex's horror-show morning bowling on its head to restrict Sussex to 128 all out from 19.4 overs.
Essex blasted Christian for 29 runs and Roland-Jones for 35 in the Middlesex seam duo's six overs in morning defeat.
Determined to reverse fortunes immediately, Christian claimed two for 23 and Roland-Jones three for 25 as Middlesex overpowered Sussex's batting line-up.
Luke Wright was first to fall for Sussex as he was clean bowled by Christian for just one run from four balls.
Opener Matt Machan looked just about primed to get going when Christian held a fine catch off the bowling of James Harris.
Machan trudged off the middle with 10 runs from 10 balls, but Sussex 25 for two from 4.1 overs.
Ed Joyce reached 14 before Ravi Patel had him caught by Dawid Malan, and Rory Hamilton-Brown kept up the pace of notching a run a ball only to depart on 15 too.
Ollie Rayner claimed the Hamilton-Brown scalp, thanks to the catch from Paul Stirling.
Middlesex confirmed their early dominance when Michael Yardy's false shot handed wicketkeeper John Simpson an easy catch off Christian's bowling.
Yardy departed with 12 and Sussex 76 for five from 12.5 overs, desperately seeking an anchor point to their innings.
Mindful of the need to accelerate the scoring without delay, Ashar Zaidi immediately forced the issue too far.
Spinner Paul Stirling dismissed Zaidi with his first ball of the match, Sussex's number five batsman out cheaply for 19.
Ben Brown and Chris Jordan put on 39 for the seventh wicket, before Brown holed out to Andy Balbernie off the bowling of Roland-Jones for 14 from 11 balls.
Sussex's 117 for seven was still way off the required pace, though, and, when Harris removed Jordan for 25 - caught by Joe Denly - the visitors were in dire straits.
Arafat drilled a six in a desperate bid to claw respectability, only to depart on the very next ball for 10.
Harris held another catch from Roland-Jones' bowling, with Sussex 128 for nine.
Roland-Jones then removed Steffan Piolet for one, caught by Malan, teeing up his side for what should have been a routine run-chase.
Arafat and Jordan tied Middlesex down expertly for the first three overs, leading to Jordan removing Stirling for 13 from 20 balls, caught by Will Beer.
Middlesex laboured to the 10-over halfway point at 51 for one, still hoping to edge cautiously home.
Malan was run out for 23 from 28 balls in the 11th over, though, and Denly made just two from four balls before being trapped leg before by Hamilton-Brown.
Captain Morgan was expected to guide Middlesex home without issue: instead he was removed by Piolet for 30 from 29 balls, caught by Hamilton-Brown.
At 87 for four from 15.2 overs, suddenly that supposed composed finish started to evaporate.
Balbernie was dismissed for a duck, leg before to Piolet, and Arafat dislodged Christian for 14.
Middlesex slumped to 90 for six with just three and a half overs to play.
Simpson and Rayner batted through, but neither were able to crank up the pace, with Arafat and Jordan closing out Sussex's impressive turnaround win.