Match Report: Gloucestershire v Essex


Gloucestershire v Essex

Vitality Blast
Seat Unique Stadium, Bristol
Friday 30 May 2024, 6:30pm start


Team News:

Gloucestershire: Miles Hammond, Cameron Bancroft, James Bracey (wk), Graeme van Buuren, Jack Taylor (c), Ben Charlesworth, Beau Webster, Ollie Price, Marchant de Lange, David Payne, Matt Taylor.

Essex: Adam Rossington (wk), Dean Elgar, Michael Pepper, Jordan Cox, Paul Walter, Matt Critchley, Daniel Sams, Simon Harmer (c), Luc Benkenstein, Ben Allison, Aaron Beard.

Match Details:

Umpires: Jack Shantry & Paul Baldwin
Match Referee: Phil Whitticase
Toss: Gloucestershire won the toss and elected to bowl
Result: Gloucestershire won by 5 wickets

Scorecard: View Here

Match Highlights

Match Report

David Payne and Matt Taylor claimed four wickets apiece as Gloucestershire took the win on the opening night of this year’s Vitality Blast with a five-wicket victory at the Seat Unique Stadium in Bristol.

Payne took three wickets with the new ball and then removed dangerman Daniel Sams to finish with 4-24, while Taylor eclipsed the tail to return career-best T20 figures of 4-22 from four overs and restrict Essex to 141-9.

Jordan Cox, featuring in his first T20 match for Essex, top-scored with 48 and dominated a stand of 64 in 6.5 overs for the fourth wicket with Paul Walter, who contributed 43.

Gloucestershire’s James Bracey led the reply posting 49 from 30 balls and dominating a stand of 83 in seven overs with Cameron Bancroft, who weighed in with 32 as the home side took control. Ben Charlesworth finished unbeaten on 22 as Gloucestershire wrapped up victory beneath the Bristol floodlights with 18 balls to spare.

Gloucestershire’s decision to insert last season’s runners-up was fully justified when Payne claimed wickets with his second and third deliveries, having Dean Elgar held at short third man and then producing an in-swinger to uproot Michael Pepper’s middle stump as Essex had a slow start.

The left arm seamer struck again in his next over, Adam Rossington pushing half forward to a ball that left him and offering a routine catch behind as Essex slid to 11-3. A wicket maiden meant Payne boasted figures of 3-6 from two overs.

Cox fought fire with fire, hoisting Matt Taylor over the long-off boundary for the first six of the innings and then repeating the feat at the expense of Marchant de Lange, while Walter greeted the advent of Beau Webster with an off-driven four as the fourth wicket pair staged a recovery, Essex advancing to 49-3 at the end of the powerplay.

In the absence of the injured Tom Smith, Graeme van Buuren was required to take pace off and keep things tight during the middle overs. Cox departed for a 27-ball 48 that included 4 fours and 3 sixes with the score on 75 in the tenth, after lifting a delivery from de Lange to mid-off.

Webster, van Buuren and de Lange cut off the supply of boundaries during the middle overs and Walter, under pressure to up the tempo, attempted to pull the returning Matt Taylor and top-edged a catch behind, departing the scene for a 30-ball 43. He had accrued 5 fours and a six and, at 110-5 in the 15th over, the innings was sorely in need of acceleration.

Australian all-rounder Sams was the next batter in but Essex were dealt a further blow when their overseas chipped Payne to short extra having contributed just nine with the score on 119 in the 16th. Matt Taylor then accounted for Matt Critchley, caught and bowled for 16, Luc Benkenstein and Simon Harmer in the penultimate over.

Needing to make early in-roads, Essex removed Miles Hammond in the first over, Harmer taking a superb diving catch at slip off the bowling of Sams. But new batter Bracey quickly redressed the balance, scoring a six and a four from successive Aaron Beard deliveries. The Gloucestershire powerplay yielded 64 and the second wicket alliance reached 50 in 28 balls.

With the rate now down to a run a ball and nine wickets still in hand, Gloucestershire’s batters were not obliged to take undue risk. But Bracey was clearly in a hurry, the 27-year-old left hander helping himself to 3 fours and 4 sixes to put Essex on the back foot.

Bancroft had scored 32 from 18 deliveries with 6 fours when Benkenstein bowled the Australian via a big inside edge. Beard then had Bracey held on the deep mid-wicket boundary in the next over and Jack Taylor succumbed to Critchley’s leg breaks for seven as Gloucestershire slipped to 100-4 in the 12th over.

Thereafter, Webster and Charlesworth scored a partnership of 35 for the fifth wicket as Gloucestershire reached their target to win the game.

The Eagles Have Landed: The 2024 Vitality Blast at The Cloud County Ground

Fresh from a Finals Day appearance last summer, Essex return to shortest-format action in Chelmsford from Sunday 02 June.

Demand remains exceptionally high, and there are now only 15% of tickets remaining across all seven home fixtures, with two already sold out.

With the Eagles aiming to go one better in 2024, there is no time to waste to snap up your seats.

Sunday 02 June, 4:00pm: Essex v Middlesex – buy here
Friday 07 June, 7:00pm: Essex v Glamorgan – buy here (LAST FEW TICKETS)
Friday 14 June, 7:00pm: Essex v Sussex Sharks – SOLD OUT
Thursday 20 June, 7:00pm: Essex v Hampshire Hawks – buy here
Friday 05 July, 7:00pm: Essex v Somerset – SOLD OUT
Thursday 11 July, 7:00pm: Essex v Kent Spitfires – buy here
Sunday 14 July, 2:30pm: Essex v Surrey – buy here