Despite a four-wicket haul by Jamie McIlroy, Glamorgan were beaten by Essex by six wickets in their Vitality Blast T20 match in front of a sell-out crowd at Chelmsford.
The Welsh county began the evening in fifth place in the Southern Group, two points behind Essex who, having beaten the Welsh county last Friday night at Cardiff, occupy fourth spot. Both teams fielded the same line-ups from last week at Sophia Gardens so it was Kiran Carlson and Sam Northeast who opened the batting after Essex had opted to bowl first with Sam Cook and Daniel Sams sharing the new ball. The latter was driven for a straight six by Carlson before Shane Snater was hoiked to cow corner by Northeast for six and four.
Carlson also straight drove Snater for four before slog-sweeping successive balls from Simon Harmer for four. Northeast then had a life as Josh Rymell at fine-leg spilled the top-edge before Carlson drilled Cook over mid-off for four followed by a huge pull for six over mid-wicket plus another swat to the ropes at fine-leg as the visitors raced to the 50-mark in the fifth over. But next over, Northeast lofted a drive straight against Sams to Paul Walter at mid-on.
Colin Ingram joined Carlson and began by lofting Walter inside-out over mid-off for four but, having appeared to pull a calf muscle he then holed out at long-off attempting another lofted drive against Harmer as Glamorgan lost their second wicket on 62. Billy Root announced his arrival by reverse-sweeping Harmer for four but Snater returned to the attack and bowled Carlson who inside-edged an apparently slower delivery onto his stumps.
70-3 saw Chris Cooke join Root and he started by clattering Snater through the covers before majestically on-driving him for four. The pair also ran a series of singles with some smart dabs and nudges before Root skewed a yorker from Walter to third man for four. Cooke also lofted Matt Critchley inside-out over extra-cover to bring up the hundred followed by a lofted drive over square-leg for six against Harmer. But two balls later Harmer struck again as Walter pouched his third catch at wide long-on to send Cooke back to the pavilion.
With the total om 111-4, Callum Taylor joined Root who ramped Snater for four to fine-leg before the new batter did the same to the Dutch international. But Snater, at wide long-on, then caught Root as he tried a huge leg-side blow against Matt Cricthley. Having been joined by Timm van der Gugten Taylor had a life as Feroze Khushi spilled a chance at point. van der Gugten then swatted the spinner for six before pulling Cook for four followed by a lusty swipe to the extra-cover ropes.
Taylor then edged Harmer for four to third man before van der Gugten straight drove the spinner for a pair of sixes. However, van der Gugten was run out by Will Buttleman, the Essex keeper, as he tried to sneak a single in the final over as Glamorgan ended on 175-6. Needing early wickets, Jamie McIlroy struck with his second and third ball as firstly, Robin Das pulled a ball straight to Peter Hatzoglou at deep square-leg before Michael Pepper edged an ambitious ramp stroke into Cooke’s gloves. Feroze Khushi responded by pulling the left-armer for six prior to lofting van der Gugten over mid-off for four and later in the over to long-on for six.
Rymell then drove McIlroy over long-off for four before Khushi lofted him over the River Stand and into the water for six. The bowler responded by removing Rymell who miscued a drive into Zain ul Hassan’s hands at mid-on as Essex slipped to 35-3 in the third over. Paul Walter began by pulling van der Gugten for four followed by successive on-drives for four against the Dutchman. He then swiped Ruaidhri Smith to square-leg for four as Essex ended the powerplay on 66-3.
Khushi then pulled Hatzoglou for six before Walter did the same to ul Hassan as well as the spinner . Khushi then nurdled ul Hassan to third man for four to complete a 29-ball fifty as Essex romped to the 100-mark in the tenth over. Walter celebrated by swatting ul-Hassan for six with Khushi also drilling the all-rounder to long-on for four as the target became 64 from 60 balls. But Walter tried one expansive blow too many against Hatzoglou and skied a catch to van der Gugten at backward point. 115-4 then became 117-5 as van der Gugten return to the attack and grab a fierce drive in his follow-through as Khushi departed for 61.
Critchley and Sams joined forces with the latter pulling Smith for four behind square-leg before the former did the same to mid-wicket. Sams then harpooned ul Hassan over mid-wicket for six before on-driving him for another firmly-struck four as the Essex target became 29 from 36 balls. Sams also scythed Hatzoglou for a pair of fours through extra-cover followed by a ferocious off-drive for another boundary. Sams then pulled McIlroy in the direction of Chelmsford city centre for six to bring up the fifty stand from 24 balls. The left-armer responded by bowling Sams, before Buttleman steered the next ball for four as Essex eased to a four-wicket victory with 24 balls to spare.