Glamorgan v Essex Eagles
Tuesday 07 August
Sophia Gardens, Cardiff
Glamorgan Team | Craig Meschede, Aneurin Donald, Colin Ingram (c), Kiran Carlson, Chris Cooke (wk), Nick Selman, Graham Wagg, Andrew Salter, Ruaidhri Smith, Timm van der Gugten, Michael Hogan.
Essex Eagles Team | Adam Wheater (wk), Varun Chopra, Paul Walter, Ryan ten Doeschate (c), Michael Pepper, Ravi Bopara, Simon Harmer, Peter Siddle, Adam Zampa, Matt Quinn.
Essex won the toss and elected to bowl first
Umpires | Ian Blackwell & Michael Gough
Despite a valiant effort from Ravi Bopara, who struck an unbeaten 45 from 20 balls, Essex Eagles suffered another defeat in the Vitality Blast competition when Glamorgan won by 6 runs in the match at Cardiff.
Colin Ingram, not for the first time, put Essex to the sword when he took 89 off the bowling attack having faced just 47 balls as the home side reached 198 for 7 from their 20 overs.
The South African clubbed 5 sixes and 9 fours in a as fine an innings that one could wish to see in this form of cricket.
The home side had been put into bat and lost their first two wickets to Matt Quinn with only 8 runs on the board in the first two overs but Ingram made light of Glamorgan’s perceived problems.
In successive overs from Adam Zampa and Peter Siddle, he collected a six and a four in consecutive deliveries but it was Quinn’s second over the of the innings that set the crowd and the innings alight.
The South African blasted three successive fours to bring the total past 50 then struck a six over fine leg which sailed out of the ground before adding another four and then a six with a straight drive that took him to his half century from 21 balls that included 48 in boundaries, four of them sixes.
At one stage he had blasted 32 from just 8 balls.
He continued his onslaught until the return of Peter Siddle brought his innings to an abrupt end when he picked out Bopara on the deep mid-wicket boundary.
That left Glamorgan 125-6 and five of the batsmen that had visited the crease had only managed 21 between them.
That included two wickets for Bopara from successive deliveries.
If the Eagles thought that the departure of Ingram would bring relief they were mistaken as Graham Wagg stepped into his colleagues shoes.
Up until the 18th over, only Ingram had found the boundary but Wagg and Ruaidhri Smith plundered runs seemingly at will from thereon.
Sixty defining runs were accrued from the last three overs including 26 from the 19th over.
Wagg reached 50 from just 28 balls ending 53 not out with two sixes and five fours whilst Smith was unbeaten on 22 from just nine deliveries. The pair had added 63 in three overs.
In reply, the Eagles progressed to a required 32 from the last two overs with five intact but only eight were collected from the penultimate over sent down by Wagg.
However, Bopara raised hopes for the visitors collecting two fours from the first two balls of the 20th over bowled by Michael Hogan and then two runs before sending the next delivery high over the ropes.
However, the bowler kept his cool sending down a ‘dot’ ball before Bopara gathered a single from the final delivery.
Earlier, Varun Chopra and Ryan ten Doeschate put on 62 in eight overs carrying the score to 123 in the 14th over but the loss of both batsmen in successive overs halted the victory quest.
Chopra hit 54, his fifth T20 half-century of the season whilst ten Doeschate hit 28. That left Bopara holding the responsibility of attempting to see the Eagles over the line. Simon Harmer struck 2 sixes as he contributed 15 of a 24 run stand for the sixth wicket but his departure left Bopara in sole charge.
It was a case of so near yet so far for the all-rounder who smote three sixes and four other boundaries in his vain attempt to end the Eagles poor run of form as the visitors ended on 192 for 6 wickets.