Momentum can be such a crucial part of cricket, but it didn’t seem to play in part in this result, as Essex triumphed in Cardiff in this T20 Blast match.
Glamorgan’s landslide victory over Surrey last week and Essex’s defeat to the same opponents seemed to have little or no bearing on this match, as the Eagles bowled with guile and nous and Glamorgan’s pace attack was put to the sword by Jesse Ryder.
It was 40s from the New Zealander and in-form Tom Westley that allowed Essex to stroll to victory, though Glamorgan’s spinners managed to halt the Eagles’ progress for a time.
In a match billed as Dale Steyn’s debut for the Welsh county, the South African was not able to impart much impact on the game. He finished with 3-0-32-0.
Glamorgan weren’t able to continue their momentum from the Surrey win, even with Steyn in town, but they’ll have another chance to bounce back against Hampshire on Friday night in Cardiff. That’s the nature of this tournament – you get another shot at redemption pretty damn quickly.
Essex got the 141 required in 16.2 overs with Lawrence (29*) and ten Doeschate (30*) steering them home.
It was harsh on Glamorgan’s Aneurin Donald, whose superb 51 from 38 balls was the clear standout from a stop-start Glamorgan innings, which finished tamely, though Chris Cooke whacked a straight six to keep the home fans happy.
Otherwise, Colin Ingram showed glimpses of his quality in a breezy 26 that started slowly, then sped up to blistering pace, then slowed down again when he holed out to mid-off, off the bowling of Ravi Bopara.
Graham Wagg and Craig Meschede both stuttered in their attempts to hit the boundary ropes late on, Wagg cleaned up by Bopara for 6 and Meschede run out for 6.
A stupendous spell of bowling from Essex skipper Bopara saw him finish with 2/18 off his four overs, with the canny David Masters grabbing 1/18 off his four.
Cooke then faltered in his search for the boundary ropes, but managed 23 in 21 balls, as Essex got their death bowling right.
Glamorgan went with pace in their quest to limit the Essex batsmen and they got the perfect start. Timm van der Gugten continued where he left off at The Kia Oval last Thursday, finding Bopara’s outside edge and Cooke taking care of the catch.
Then came the Jesse Ryder show. The New Zealander tends to hide down the order in four-day cricket, but he made sure the stage was his own here.
Four after four after four, Ryder was merciless in his hitting. By the time he was dismissed for 42 – caught brilliantly by David Lloyd off Dean Cosker – the game was effectively finished, such was the freedom and success of his strokeplay.
Westley followed suit with an attractive innings of 41 before the lesser-spotted leg spin of Ingram accounted for the Essex Number Three.
Lawrence and ten Doeschate were then untroubled in guiding Essex to their first win of the T20 Blast this season and tempering Glamorgan’s delight. The Blast can be a topsy-turvy affair and the form of both sides now suggest as such. Both have won one, lost one. Momentum? What momentum?