A career best 78 from Paul Walter set up a 51-run victory as Essex set an impressive 226 for nine in their Vitality Blast match against Glamorgan in Cardiff. The total was the second highest ever made at Sophia Gardens with only the Surrey total made here on Wednesday above the Essex effort in this match.
Essex lost wickets regularly but kept on coming at the Glamorgan bowlers. The innings had just one stand of more than 50 runs but there were important contributions throughout.
Glamorgan started well in their chase but fell away as they looked to keep up with the rate. Colin Ingram top scored with 48 but no Glamorgan batter made a half century as they were bowled out for 175 with Peter Hatzoglou unable to bat.
This is Glamorgan’s second home defeat in a row to leave them with a record of four wins and three losses. Essex now go ahead of Glamorgan in the table with five wins and two defeats.
Essex got off to a flying start having won the toss and elected to bat. After the first five overs they had reached 67 for one with Timm van der Gugten’s return from injury greeted by the Essex batters smashing him around the park. Van der Gugten’s first two overs went for 38 runs as Robin Das, Feroze Khusi and Michael Pepper all took the attack to Glamorgan.
It looked as if Essex could have a truly remarkable score at the end of their six over PowerPlay, but the last over of the fielding restrictions from Ruaidhri Smith was a double wicket maiden. Smith had Khusi dismissed when he drilled a ball hard and low to Colin Ingram at mid-on and claimed a second wicket from the last ball of the PowerPlay when he had Josh Rymel caught at point.
Paul Walter was the next man in and he, along with Pepper, continued to attack, with the rate rarely dropping below 10 an over throughout the Essex innings. Pepper made 42 from just 19 balls when he was trapped lbw by Peter Hatzoglou.
It was Walter who was the star as he made the highest score for Essex, a career best 78 from 34 balls that contained six sixes. He was dismissed when he drove a ball from Hatzoglou to long off and Ingram took a simple catch.
Despite the regular wickets, Essex still kept coming hard and their lower order, led by Daniel Sams, took them well past 200 to give Glamorgan a target that would be a record chase on this ground.
Glamorgan began their pursuit of the 227-run victory target with a very impressive performance inside the PowerPlay. Kiran Carlson and Sam Northeast took the score to 65 without loss inside the first six overs and shared a stand of 76 before Carlson was well caught off the bowling of Matt Critchley for 40 from 18 balls.
Northeast followed up his 76 against Surrey on Wednesday with a well-made 46 in this match before he also fell to Critchley, bowled while using his feet to get down the track.
That wicket brought together Glamorgan’s in form pairing of Ingram and Chris Cooke. The issue was the same as in the game against Surrey, they needed something record breaking to get their team over the line. With 118 needed from just 53 balls when their partnership began Glamorgan needed one of these two to be batting at the end of the match. As it was they both made decent starts but failed to kick on.
Ingram was caught on the boundary by Critchley off the bowling of Snater for 46 and Cooke was caught and bowled by Walter. When Billy Root was dismissed the next ball, also caught and bowled by Walter, Glamorgan were five down and needed to score at 16 runs an over.
Wickets tumbled at the end to leave Glamorgan a long way short of their victory target as they went from 158 for three to 175 all out.