The Sharks crumbled inside the opening ten overs, losing Luke Wright (4), Phil Salt (7), Harry Finch (10) and Ravi Bopara (8) all cheaply before South African Wiese – at one point caught off a no ball – took control, ably supported by Delray Rawlins (23) and George Garton (19) as Sussex won their second game in a row in the final over.
Wiese said afterwards: “It was a good game of cricket and a pity there wasn’t a crowd here to appreciate it. It was chaotic when the no-ball happened. I felt a bit silly and I was also a bit confused. I actually thought I was out, but then the umpire adjudged it was a no-ball for above head height.
“I was busy walking off when the umpire called me back. In the middle of it all the ball was rolling about – it was just chaos. George’s (Garton) batting has come on in leaps and bounds over the last few seasons and we knew if we played good strong cricket shots and took it as deep as possible anything could happen.
“A lot has been spoken about the dynamic duo (Salt and Wright) at the top of the order and their time will come where they will win the game for us. But it is always nice when your top players fail, and you can still inch over the line and get a win.”
With Sussex unchanged after their thrilling win versus Hampshire, skipper Wright won the toss and stuck Middlesex in, and they got off to a flier with in-form opener Stevie Eskinazi hitting 21 off the first two overs.
Tymal Mills calmed things down when he removed Max Holden for 6, caught in the deep by Garton but Eskinazi and Martin Andersson managed to keep up the momentum as Middlesex finished the powerplay at 58/1.
Danny Briggs carried on his good form as he bowled Andersson for 14 three balls after the powerplay’s conclusion as he and spin partner Will Beer put the brakes on a good start, conceding just 51 runs across their eight overs.
Briggs picked up his second wicket when he had Nick Gubbins caught for seven by Wiese as he finished his spell with brilliant figures of 2-21.
After some tight middle overs which saw Eskinazi bring up his seventh T20 fifty, he and John Simpson began to accelerate the total, adding 67 in six overs which looked to have given the hosts an excellent platform to launch in the final overs. However, Ollie Robinson intervened, bowling Eskinazi for a quickfire 79 before Mills had Simpson caught by Garton for 46 to halt the host’s charge.
An excellent final over from Robinson saw just six runs come from it, three off the bat, as Middlesex finished on 165/5.
The Sharks chase got off to a tough start as Sussex lost both openers inside the first two overs, Wright caught by Middlesex T20 captain Steven Finn for 4, before Salt dismissed by Finn for 7, caught in the deep by Dan Lincoln.
Harry Finch and Delray Rawlins settled Sussex down as they added 23 in the next three overs, but lost Finch with the score on 37, caught for 8 off the bowling of Finn as Lincoln and Nathan Sowter combined on the boundary rope.
Rawlins was going along nicely, hitting two sixes and four in his knock of 23 but was pinned leg-before by spinner Luke Hollmann, Middlesex’s only change to the side that tied with Kent last week.
Sussex were struggling to find a pair that could stick together, and their situation got worse when Ravi Bopara was dismissed for just eight, chipping a catch to Eskinazi off Hollman as the home side looked like to be closing in on victory.
This brought Wiese and Garton together with the pair getting the Sharks back into the game, adding 55 in five overs, with Wiese doing the majority of the hitting, striking six boundaries in the partnership to leave Sussex needing 43 from the final 30 balls.
Wiese brought up his sixth T20 half-century off just 33 balls with Garton adding 19 as the pair amassed a 63-run partnership.
The partnership was broken when Garton was bowled by James Harris, but Wiese continued to keep the Sharks in the game striking a boundary off the all-rounder as nine came from the over, leaving Sussex needing 27 from the final three.
Wiese continued to lose partners with Robinson bowled by Helm for two off the first ball of the 18th over as Middlesex fought back. The all-rounder struck a six off Harris but looked to be out when he was caught the following ball but the umpires reinstated Wiese at the crease after calling a no-ball.
Wiese wrestled the game back in Sussex’ favour as he and Beer took 18 from Harris’ final over, meaning the Sharks needed just four from the final over.
It had to be Wiese to finish the game as he struck six from the first two balls as the Sharks won yet another T20 Blast thriller.