Essex Eagles into Natwest T20 Blast last eight

PUBLISHED: 21:35 29 July 2016 | UPDATED: 21:52 29 July 2016

The Essex squad pose in their NatWest T20 Blast kit at Chelmsford (pic: PA)

The Essex squad pose in their NatWest T20 Blast kit at Chelmsford (pic: PA)

PA/Press Association Images

Rain cannot dampen Ravi’s mood too much

Essex Eagles booked a place in the quarter-finals of the Natwest T20 Blast after their final group match with Glamorgan was abandoned at Chelmsford.

And they will now travel to Trent Bridge to take on Nottinghamshire on Monday August 8 as they look to progress to the final four.

Eagles went into the match in fourth place after Ashar Zaidi had inspired them to victory over Middlesex at Lord’s the night before.

That left Ravi Bopara’s men two points ahead of Surrey and Kent, who were going head-to-head at The Oval, and with a superior net run rate.

But after seeing the visitors make 184-5 in their innings, thanks largely to a superb century from Colin Ingram, the hosts were left frustrated as heavy rain denied them the chance to chase victory.

Bopara won the toss and sent the visitors into bat, with David Masters conceding nine runs from his opening over.

Matt Quinn’s first over went for 14, as David Lloyd hit two fours and a six, but Masters then made the breakthrough as Lloyd top-edged to Nick Browne at cover.

Graham Napier conceded 13 in the fourth over, as Ingram hit a four and then a straight six down the ground off the last ball, but Masters then produced a tight fifth over, as Glamorgan scored just three singles to move to 40-1.

Quinn kept the pressure on, conceding just five before the end of the powerplay, and Ryan ten Doeschate (eight runs) and Dan Lawrence (six) came into the attack and restricted the visitors to a solitary boundary from the next two overs.

Captain Bopara kept things tight with his first four deliveries, before Ingram hit a four and a six to make it 73-1 off nine.

But Lawrence claimed a second wicket in the next over, bowling Mark Wallace as he attempted a reverse sweep, only for new batsman Aneurin Donald to hit the last two balls for four and leave Glamorgan 85-2 at the midway point of their innings.

Ten Doeschate (four runs) and Masters, who finished with figures of 4-0-16-1, turned the screw with two miserly overs and the pressure paid off as Donald slogged ten Doeschate to Bopara on the boundary to leave the visitors 96-3 after 13 overs.

Jacques Rudolph hit the first ball of Lawrence’s next over for six to bring up Glamorgan’s hundred, but the young leg-spinner did well to hold them to just five more runs.

Bopara (eight) and Quinn (10) conceded a boundary apiece to Rudolph, who saw Jesse Ryder spurn a difficult chance off the New Zealander, while Ingram brought up his half-century from 38 balls to make it 126-3 after 16 overs.

And Ingram also had a let-off as Lawrence failed to take a chance off ten Doeschate and managed another six as the total grew to 137-3.

Napier returned to the attack, but saw Ingram hit him for a six and two fours in the 18th over, which produced 17 runs in all for the visiting side.

And Ingram also sent Quinn into the stands twice in the penultimate over, either side of Rudolph picking out Napier to end a quickfire 71-run stand, to make it 170-4.

Another six and a four off Napier in the last over took Ingram to 101 off 55 balls, with his second fifty only taking 17 deliveries, before he was bowled with three balls left in the innings and Glamorgan closed on 184-5.

Heavy rain began to fall during the interval, with the covers coming on and a cut-off point of 9.29pm for a five-over thrash looming.

But no further play was possible, meaning the points were shared and Essex secured their trip to Nottinghamshire, while the other ties are Northamptonshire v Middlesex, Glamorgan v Yorkshire and Gloucestershire v Durham.

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