A brilliant 114 by Colin Ingram from 55 balls plus a six off the last ball by Craig Meschede saw Glamorgan to a thrilling five-wicket victory against the Essex Eagles in a record-breaking game which saw 443 runs being scored in the NatWest T20 Blast at Chelmsford.
It’s been a busy twenty-four hours for the Welsh county as, like Somerset their opponents at Cardiff, they headed east along the M4 yesterday evening. The late-night journeys saw Somerset head to Uxbridge for their contest today with Middlesex, whilst Glamorgan continued around the M25 to Chelmsford for this afternoon’s match with the Essex Eagles, for which they fielded the same side.
After Essex had opted to bat first, Michael Hogan struck with his third ball as he bowled Dan Lawrence. But this was a prelude for a flurry of boundaries as Tom Westley responded by square-driving the opening bowler before Varun Chopra pulled Timm van der Gugten for four to long-on followed by successive sixes over square-leg. Westley then straight drove Hogan for another six followed by another maximum to mid-wicket.
Chopra then greeted the introduction of Marchant de Lange into the attack by plonking him over the short mid-wicket boundary for six. Westley had a life on 24 as Andrew Salter parried a sharp chance at mid-wicket but it did not prove too expensive as next over – and with the total on 72 - Craig Meschede took a good diving catch at third man as Westley got a thick edge to another expansive drive.
After surviving an appeal for l.b.w., Ravi Bopara drilled Colin Ingram straight for four before Chopra lofted Salter for six over long-off en route to a 30-ball fifty. Chopra then struck a free-hit from Meschede over long-on for six before straight driving Ingram for four and then lofting de Lange for six high over mid-wicket. Bopara joined in the big hitting as he drove de Lange over long-off for six before pulling Hogan for six in the same direction.
Bopara then straight drove Ingram for six and four to complete a 26-ball fifty, whilst later in the over Chopra struck successive sixes over extra-cover and long-on. Bopara then pulled van der Gugten for another maximum before gloving a catch to Chris Cooke as the third wicket stand came to an end having added 122 in eleven overs.
Ryna ten Doeschate joined Chopra who drilled Wagg straight for six before completing his hundred in the final over as he clipped Hogan for four – his 58th delivery -, but not before Hogan had bowled ten Doeschate as the Eagles ended on 219/4.
Aneurin Donald and David Lloyd began Glamorgan’s reply with some fierce blows with the latter twice finding the boundary against Mohammad Amir and Jamie Porter, but Donald was then bowled attempting to reverse scoop Porter. Ingram was quick into his stride as he glanced Paul Walter to fine-leg for four whilst Lloyd scythed Porter over extra-cover for four.
Ingram then clipped Porter to mid-wicket for six before having a life as he was dropped at long-on trying to despatch Amir in the direction of Billericay. He celebrated by striking the next two balls for four before lofting Simon Harmer for six and four over long-off and through the covers, followed by a mighty harpoon for six high over mid-wicket as Glamorgan ended the powerplays on 63/1.
Lloyd then cut Bopara for four before clipping the all-rounder to the fielder at short fine-leg. With the total on 68/2 Rudolph joined Ingram who completed his 23-ball fifty with another rasping four before completing a series of singles with his captain. Ingram scooped Porter for six over mid-wicket before square-driving the seamer for four and then pulling him for six as the equation became 116 from the last ten overs
Ingram, who already had a 50 over hundred to his name against the Eagles then lofted Harmer over extra-cover for four but later in the over Rudolph miscued a sweep and was caught at short fine-leg as Chris Cooke joined Ingram who then struck another straight six by depositing Zaidi into the maisonettes at the Hayes Close End before sweeping Harmer for another maximum.
Cooke then harpooned Harmer for six before Ingram completed his century from 50 balls by straight driving Walter for another six as the target became 59 from 30 balls. Ingram greeted the return of Bopara by pulling him for another maximum. Two balls later he was dropped at point by Zaidi before Cooke pulled Amir for four, followed by a clip to fine-leg for another boundary as the equation became 37 from the last three overs. Cooke continued to find and clear the ropes as he pulled Walter for six before deftly hooking him for four, followed by a lofted drive for a six to see Glamorgan to the 200-mark with 20 needed from the last two overs.
But Ingram on 114 and two short of Ian Thomas’ unbeaten 116 made in 2004 against Somerset at Taunton was then run out by Amir to the first ball of the penultimate over after being sent back by Cooke. The next ball disappeared for six over long-on as Cooke closed in on a fifty but next ball he swatted the Pakistani to deep point where Walter completed the catch. After Wagg and Meschede each ran a pair of singles, Wagg speared the ball for three to third man as he got strike for the final over from Walter with nine needed.
Wagg sprinted a single to point off the first ball before Meschede did the same to the second. Wagg then drilled a single to cover but Meschede could not make contact with the next. However he clubbed the next to deep mid-wicket for four before smearing the last ball over point for six to win a remarkable game as Glamorgan made their highest ever score batting second in the competition.