Essex lose again in exciting t20 clash against Glamorgan

Essex's Jamie Porter Photo: PA

Essex's Jamie Porter Photo: PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Glamorgan (171-8) beat Essex (167) by two wickets

Chris Cooke gave a masterclass in lower-order hitting to carry Glamorgan to a two-wicket victory off the last ball of a dramatic final over.

The South African wicketkeeper-batsman hit a four from Neil Wagner’s final delivery to give Glamorgan their second Vitality Blast win of the season.

Cooke ended with 60 from 29 balls, including four sixes and three fours, having put on 61 for the ninth wicket with Timm van der Gugten from just 28 balls.

Adam Zampa had done his best to rein Glamorgan and give Essex a second win with three for 16 from his four overs. The Australian leg-spinner had been the only Eagles bowler to come out with any credit from the heavy defeat by Surrey at the Oval the night before when he took two for 20.

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Essex had been undone after being asked to bat when they suffered another spectacular collapses, losing their last eight wickets for 50 runs in just 40 deliveries, falling from 117 for two to 167 all out.

And that after an opening stand of 48 from 32 balls between Adam Wheater and Varun Chopra, and another between Tom Westley and Ryan ten Doeschate of 62 from 27 balls for the fourth wicket. The loss of Ravi Bopara to a suicidal run-out and ten Doeschate next ball for a 28-ball 43 that included three sixes, prefaced the rapid decline.

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Michael Hogan bowled four miserly overs for 22 runs and two wickets, and was backed by Graham Wagg’s two for 30 at the height of Essex’s misfortunes.

Glamorgan had made steady progress in their reply until Wagner was introduced for his Essex Blast bowling debut. With his fourth ball he had Usman Khawaja swishing at one down leg-side to be caught behind.

Colin Ingram, who habitually flays Essex with centuries, found himself tied up in knots by Adam Zampa, and in frustration swept the Australian leg-spinner straight into Chopra’s hands at backward square leg for just two. Zampa then did for David Lloyd, who played all around one and was bowled, He might have had a third but Chopra dropped a simple chance at deep square leg when Donald was 27.

Donald had just hit his second six in a Harmer over that went for 15. But he became Wagner’s second victim when, having hit 37 from 21 balls, he was caught by Harmer at deep square leg. Kiran Carlson went for an enterprising 23 when he got a thick edge at Sam Cook to Zampa at third man.

When Bopara had Graham Wagg and Andrew Salter bowled in successive deliveries in an over that went for just two runs, Glamorgan were on the verge of suffering a collapse of their own. They were 107 for seven, still 61 runs from their target with 34 balls left. But then the fireworks began.

Craig Meschede gave himself room and was bowled to give Zampa his third wicket, his final over conceding just three runs. Cooke then took over, hitting Bopara for six to cow corner, adding a second and third off Wagner, and a fourth off Bopara. His fifty came off just 24 balls.

Suddenly 11 were needed off the last over. Cooke took a single off the first ball from Wagner, and Timm van Gugten a single off a wide from the second. Two more for Cooke reduced the target to six from four balls, then five from three, four from two and two from the last ball. A wide from the sixth ball tied the scores before Cooke hit the winning boundary to cow corner.

Earlier, Chopra fell for 16, trying to hit Hogan high over square leg, but Salter caught the towering hoick sliding on his knees. Wheater followed after hitting five fours in a 24-ball 34 when he took a step back to leg to give himself room but was beaten by a slower ball from Craig Meschede.

That brought in ten Doeschate, who lofted Ingram over long-leg for his first six. Meschede was deposited in the same area for the second, and then he lifted the South African straight in an over that cost 18 runs, 17 of them to the Essex captain.

Westley contributed 26 from 22 balls before attempting to put David Lloyd out of the ground, only to be caught on the square-leg boundary by Kiran Carlson.

Then it all went wrong as Essex lost three wickets in nine balls. Ten Doeschate declined Bopara’s invitation for a run, remaining resolutely in the crease as his partner joined him at the striker’s end. Meschede’s throw to the other end was a formality. Ten Doeschate departed straight after to continue the conversation in the changing room, caught by Ingram at cover, and Lawrence went at the start of Wagg’s next over, held in the deep by Lloyd.

The runs dried up. Though Harmer and Wagner lofted van der Gugten for sixes in the 19th over, the Dutch international also took out Harmer’s off-stump in revenge. That over went for 13, after the previous five overs had added just 24 runs.

The final over, bowled by Hogan, was a comedy of errors for the Eagles. Zampa was bowled with the second ball, Wagner stumbled as he tried to make his ground and was run out to the fifth, and the same fate befell Porter from the last ball. Lloyd was the fielder on both occasions.

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