MOEEN Ali stunned Sussex Sharks with a stunning 121 not out as he guided defending champions Worcestershire Rapids to a second successive Vitality Blast finals day.

The County beat Sharks in last year's final to win the T20 trophy for the first time and tonight's eight-wicket win chasing 184-6 put them on course to become the first side to ever retain the title.

Moeen may have lost his England place but the Rapids captain led by example with a world-class display of hitting off just 60 balls which saw his side home with 14 balls left.

He reached his century from 50 balls and with his ninth six over backward square-leg off Will Beer before settling the match with his 11th maximum.

There were also eight fours and Moeen was well supported by Riki Wessels who made a 46-ball 47 in a second-wicket stand of 177.

Moeen said: "It was good to do that against a top side in a quarter-final. We were missing a number of players.

"We have match-winners in our team, even with some missing.

"We have built up some momentum last year and this year and now we are back in the finals."

Sharks got off to a great start when Rapids batted and Reece Topley bowled surprise opener Joe Leach (1) with the third ball of the innings.

But Alex Carey dropped Moeen for just five off Ollie Robinson in the second over. When Moeen was dropped again, this time by David Wiese on the boundary, he was on 78 and the match was all but won.

By the time he was put down a third time, by Topley, he had his hundred and the tie was in the bag.

When Sharks batted a first-innings stand of 84 in 8.5 overs between captain Luke Wright and Phil Salt set them up for a competitive total.

Salt reached his 50 from 31 deliveries but in the same Daryl Mitchell over, which went for 16 runs, Wright was out for a 22-ball 28 caught by Ed Barnard at cow corner.

Sussex were well placed at 94-1 at the halfway stage.

Mitchell’s second over went for 22 as Salt again hit him for two sixes.

But then the batsman was caught at long-on.

Mitchell (2-38) had been expensive but he had disposed of both Sharks’ openers.

Salt’s 40-ball 72 included five fours and five sixes.

It was the beginning of a Sussex collapse which saw them lose three wickets in two overs.

Carey, back in the side after returning from the Australia squad, skied Ed Barnard to keeper Ben Cox for just eight.

Then two balls later the big-hitting Wiese had his middle stump uprooted first ball by Barnard (2-21).

When Delray Rawlins skied a return catch to Moeen for just five the Rapids had fought their way back into the game.

Chris Jordan was caught behind for only two to leave Sharks on 156-6 in the 17th over.

But an unbeaten 43 from 31 balls by Laurie Evans ensured a strong Sussex total.

Evans struck five fours with two off the last two balls of the innings bowled by Pat Brown but Moeen's super show in reply was to guide Rapids to an unpredictably comfortable win.