Lawrence leads Essex past Glamorgan in Vitality Blast

Dan Lawrence in batting action for Essex against Glamorgan in the Vitality Blast T20

Dan Lawrence in batting action for Essex against Glamorgan in the Vitality Blast T20 - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Dan Lawrence produced his second Vitality Blast fifty of the season to set up Essex Eagles’ painless eight-wicket victory over depleted Glamorgan.

Essex were only chasing 105 after an all-round frugal bowling and fielding display stunted the visitors – who had four key players unavailable.

But Lawrence took charge of the chase with 55 off 31 balls, after a 70-run stand with Adam Wheater, to make sure the Eagles cantered home with 46 balls to spare.

The victory handed Essex their fourth win in their last five Blast matches to keep alive their hopes of regaining the trophy, while all but distinguishing Glamorgan’s chances of a place in the knockouts.

Glamorgan won the toss, decided to bat but never looked like scoring a big total on a slow hybrid pitch for the fifth time.

In mitigation for the Welsh side, Nick Selman, Marnus Labuschagne and Michael Neser were already absent due to Covid isolation before Prem Sisodiya was forced to pull out in the warm-ups.

Kiran Carlson began the revolving door when his wristy flick was caught on the square leg boundary by Michael Pepper as Jack Plom began with a wicket maiden.

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South African Colin Ingram was bowled off his pads by Lawrence and Plom produced a stunning piece of fielding to directly hit from the fine leg boundary to see off David Lloyd.

Chris Cooke and Billy Root added an innings high 37 for the fourth wicket before the former thrashed to extra cover and the latter picked out Pepper at long-on.

Dan Douthwaite feathered Aron Nijjar behind and James Weighell flumped to long-off – where Pepper claimed his third catch of the innings.

The last three wickets fell in the 16th over Sam Cook had Sam Pearce inside edging behind and Roman Walker lbw either side of a Ryan ten Doeschate direct hit.

Wheater made sure the chase was as comfortable on the pitch as it looked on paper, thumping the third ball of the innings over mid-on to the boundary.

He lost opening partner Will Buttleman leg-before to Walker but continued his march with successive boundaries – giving himself a bit of space to carve a drive through the covers before cutting off his tip-toes.

Lawrence wasn’t at his fluent best, dropped on 11 and 15, but composed himself with a rocket cut and a straight six – the latter bringing up the 50-run partnership.

Wheater was stumped on 39 but Lawrence, who thumped two more maximums to bring up his half-century in 30 deliveries, and Pepper made sure there were no more hiccups – with the former striking the winning boundary.

Plom said: “The lads bowled exceptionally well. Our plan is to get wickets up top and then get going in the middle and finish it at the end. It was an outstanding performance overall.

“It is my first wicket maiden. I have performed how 'Harmy' and the guys want me to perform and do the job for the team.

“You can’t fault us today with the ball or fielding. We do a lot of fielding and we do it very intense and it paid off today.

“We all knew we could get 105 whether it was in 15 overs or 20 overs. We back our batters. That top five were amazing today and did the job for us.

“Wheater has been batting well in the last four or five games and giving us good starts.

“We are taking some good steps into the last few games and if we keep that momentum going then who knows what might happen.”