Rymell century helps Essex into Royal London Cup semi-final
- Credit: Nick Wood/TGS Photo
Josh Rymell struck the first century of his senior career as Essex beat Yorkshire by 129 runs in their Royal London quarter-final at Chelmsford to earn a semi-final with Glamorgan at Sophia Gardens on Monday.
Chasing a challenging total of 317-7, Yorkshire were never in the hunt after losing half their side for 88 before succumbing for 188 in 38.4 overs with Jack Plom taking three wickets and the spin trio of Simon Harmer, Aron Nijjar and Tom Westley claiming the remaining seven wickets.
Rymell batted magnificently as the Yorkshire attack was put to the sword by the 20 year-old opener.
The latest cab off the rank of the famed Essex Academy and playing only his sixth List A match, Rymell drove, cut and carved with aplomb displaying a maturity in shot selection and performance that belied his inexperience.
He was given a “life” on 36 when spilled by Dom Bess off the bowling of George Hill but then ensured the visitors were made to pay heavily for the error.
His half-century arrived from 78 balls and he needed only a further 37 balls to reach his milestone hundred that included one six and 12 fours.
After 30 overs, the home side were 123-3 but the innings stepped through the gears with Rymell in the driving seat.
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He and Paul Walter added 68 in 9.4 overs before the latter was caught off a leading edge for a run-a-ball 33 before Adam Wheater joined Rymell in adding 68 in 6.4 overs until the Essex wicket-keeper was caught at cover to leave his side 263-6 with a little more than four overs remaining.
Three balls later Rymell’s influential contribution of 121 ended when he was bowled attempting to cut Hill but Harmer and Nijjar continued the frenetic tempo adding 50 runs in 22 balls as the innings closed having seen the addition of 194 runs from the last 20 overs.
In reply, the visitors lost Harry Duke for four but Will Fraine and Will Luxton helped themselves to 28 runs from two overs from pacemen Ben Allison and Jack to raise the Tykes hopes.
However, the introduction of Harmer and Nijjar proved significant. In seven overs, they shared four wickets at a cost of 20 runs to leave Yorkshire reeling on 88-5.
Harmer ended the second-wicket partnership of 63 when he had Fraine caught at long-on for 31 and also had George Hill caught at mid-on whilst Nijjar trapped Luxton in the crease for 34 and then bowled Jonny Tattersall.
Essex skipper Westley introduced his personal spin into the attack and struck in his second over trapping opposite number Gary Ballance in front of his stumps and then Bess cut to backward point as Yorkshire recoiled to 125-7.
Matt Revis and Matt Waite added a note of respectability with 46 for the eighth wicket before both departed in nine balls, Revis for a top-score 42 and his partner for 31 to give Westley a third wicket and leave Essex one game away from their first List A Final since 2008.
Rymell admitted he was on cloud nine following his maiden century in senior cricket.
“To be honest, I don’t think it has really sunk in yet,” he said after scoring 121. “I’m of course really happy but also that it helped us get the win to take us into the semi-finals.
“We were happy with the total that we postedbecause the pitch was little bit stoppy at first but then it got easier. I was a bit nervous when I was in the nineties but relieved when I got the century.
“I haven’t batted as opener too often so far and hopefully, there are a lot more to come.
“Plommy (Jack Plom) and Benny (Allison) bowled really well at the start of their innings and then in their middle overs, the spinners took wickets and bowled superbly.
“Hopefully we can take the momentum from this victory into Monday’s game and go on and reach the final.”