Match report: Gloucestershire v Essex Eagles


Gloucestershire v Essex Eagles
Vitality Blast
Friday 02 August
The Bristol County Ground, Bristol

Gloucestershire Team: Michael Klinger (C), Miles Hammond, James Bracey (WK), Iain Cockbain, Ryan Higgins, Jack Taylor, Benny Howell, Graeme van Buuren, Andrew Tye, Tom Smith, David Payne.

Essex Eagles Team: Tom Westley, Cameron Delport, Adam Wheater (WK), Dan Lawrence, Ryan ten Doeschate, Paul Walter, Shane Snater, Simon Harmer (C), Mohammed Amir, Adam Zampa, Matthew Quinn.

Umpires: Paul Baldwin & Richard Illingworth

Result: Essex Eagles won by 25 runs

Match Report:

Excellent powerhouse batting from the Eagles proved defining as they beat Gloucestershire by 25 runs in the Vitality Blast clash at Bristol on Friday night.

Led by Tom Westley, who carried his bat for 86, the Eagles posted 206 for 3 and their highest total against Gloucestershire in Twenty20 cricket. In reply, the home side reached 181 for 5 wickets with Ryan Higgins scoring 77 not out.

Westley’s efforts were superbly supported by Dan Lawrence and Cameron Delport who contributed 56 and 51 respectively with the latter launching the innings after the Eagles had won the toss, with an 81 partnership in nine overs with Westley.

Delport set the tone with a 30-ball half-century that included 5 sixes and 2 fours before he was caught in the deep off the excellent and frugal Benny Howell.

Howell, who conceded just 13 runs from his four overs amongst all the carnage, also picked up the wicket of Adam Wheater for 3 to leave the Eagles who had opted to bat, 94 for 2 just after the halfway stage.

But Lawrence joined Westley to move the innings into overdrive as both drove cleanly and frequently. Westley’s half-century arrived fork 36 balls with 1 six and 5 fours, but the batsman wasted little time in celebrating the milestone blasting three maximum blows from one Tom Smith over.

His 50 runs stand with Lawrence took just 25 balls and whilst Westley continued to exhibit fine and punishing strokeplay, Lawrence too went on the rampage with a demonstration of powerful hitting. He was to prove the fastest of the half-centurions to reach his fifty from just 27 balls aided by three sixes and four other boundaries.

His partnership with Westley had accrued 105 runs from 52 balls when Lawrence was caught at deep mid-off in the penultimate over of the innings.

The home side never picked up the required rate losing their first three wickets in seven overs from 43 runs including Michael Klinger. So often a thorn in the Essex side, the Australian was caught for 11 as he attempted to lob a ball from Shane Snater over the head of the wicket-keeper but Wheater leapt to take the catch. Adam Zampa removed Miles Hammond whilst skipper Simon Harmer accounted for James Bracey both batsmen falling to catches in the deep.

When Aaron Beard claimed his maiden T20 wicket on debut having Ian Cockbain caught by Harmer at mid-off, the West Country side required 139 more runs off 55 balls.

However, Ryan Higgins and Jack Taylor decided that if their side was to lose, then they would go down with all guns blazing.

They took 70 runs in five overs as they ate into the target with Higgins striking a huge 6 off Harmer to reach a 28-ball half-century with the assistance of 32 in boundaries.

At the start of the 16th over, they required 87 off 30 balls and a Delport over then yielded 18 runs.

But Harmer had kept two overs of Mohammad Amir under his belt. The Pakistan quickie applied the brakes conceding 9 runs from over 17 before Zampa struck to end a fifth wicket partnership that had realised 93 runs in seven overs by having Taylor caught by Harmer for 42.

Gloucestershire required 32 from the final over and Beard was entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring the Eagles secured victory. He sent down a splendid over conceding just 6 runs as the Eagles recorded a second victory of the Vitality Blast season and now have five points from 6 matches.