The Essex County Ground saw a clash between first and third in the Southern Group of the Royal London One Day Cup, both sides went into the match having recorded three wins from five but one point separating them by way of Essex’s tied match with Somerset.
The day started well for Glamorgan captain Jaques Rudolph, who won the toss and elected to bat first on a green tinged pitch and he would have been very happy with his side’s return of 324-8 from their 50 overs, however he wasn’t smiling at the end of the game with Essex winning an excellent game of cricket by 4 wickets with 5 balls to spare.
The Glamorgan openers started their innings well, negotiating their powerplay overs comfortably, as they moved to 39 for no loss from 10, with the pitch not delivering the seam movement it promised before the game.
Essex’s opening bowlers though did keep it tight, with Rudolph and David Lloyd struggling to get the ball away and only 5 boundaries coming in the opening ten overs.
The Glamorgan innings continued on sedately like the river Taff, slow moving and very little happening on the surface until the 22nd over when a flurry of activity turned the river into a Niagara Falls.
Lloyd made his 50 off 70 balls, an over later Glamorgan brought up their 100 with a Rudolph four to third man, and then a further over later Rudolph was back in the pavilion or on the river bank if you will as he misjudged a delivery from young leg spinner Dan Lawrence and popping a catch up to Ravi Bopara at short extra cover.
Lloyd’s stay at the crease was brought to an end when he was smartly caught by Jesse Ryder at backward point off Napier as Nelson struck, leaving Glamorgan 111 for 2 off the first 25 overs.
The white water innings did not stop there as Colin Ingram set about creating crashing waves and whirlpools, scoring a brutal 107 off 104 balls with seven fours and six sixes.
Ingram wasn’t alone in creating the surges though as Will Bragg, who may not have been on fire but was sizzling as he scored 44 off 31 balls along with Graham Wagg who joined Ingram as Bragg departed scoring a run a ball 26.
The only Essex bowler who offered any calming of the waters was the veteran David Masters who returned figures of 2-44 off his ten overs.
If Glamorgan were feeling in the ascendency at the half way point they may have been doubting that at the end of the Essex powerplay, as they moved comfortably to 56 for 1 from the 10 overs of fielding restrictions.
Only losing Tom Westley caught behind off Graham Wagg for 15, while Essex’s other opener, Nick Browne looking in imperious form, timing the ball sweetly and regularly sending it to the boundary.
The loss of his opening partner did slow the scoring briefly, but the arrival of the burly kiwi Ryder soon saw the scoring rate accelerating again.
Both Ryder and Browne went on to score half centuries, Browne in the 18th over off 57 balls and Ryder in the 22nd over off 49 balls, however Ryder fell to his next ball, smartly caught behind by Mark Wallace off Craig Meschede.
Browne continued on however as he was joined by his captain Bopara as Essex continued batting sensibly towards their total.
In the meantime Browne scoring a career best List A score of 99, before being run out, turning for a second run and slipping cruelly to be dismissed one run short of his maiden List A century.
Bopara continued to guide his team towards their target, passing his 50 in the 37th over, before being dismissed for 59, caught at deep square leg off the bowling of Timm Van Der Gugten.
This brought another Dutch man on to the field as Ryan Ten Doeschate joined Lawrence at the crease needing 84 off the final 10 overs.
This task proved simple enough for Essex, despite the loss of Lawrence for 20 and Zaidi for 13, passing the Glamorgan total comfortably with ten Doeschate and James Foster guiding the Eagles home with 5 balls to spare. The two former captains finishing 34 not out and 26 not out respectively.
Man of the match
Colin Ingram: despite being on the losing side, his brutal 107 off 104 balls with seven fours and six sixes showed other batsmen how to strike a ball cleanly and put his side in the box seat at the half way stage. The way he batted he deserved to be on the winning side, picking out the boundary on a regular basis giving his side impetus and setting an excellent score.