Natwest T20 Blast: Essex captain upbeat despite exit
PUBLISHED: 08:13 19 August 2017
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Eagles miss out on last-eight spot
Essex captain Ryan ten Doeschate remained positive despite his side missing out on a quarter-final place in the Natwest T20 Blast.
The Eagles lost by 55 runs in their final South Group match against Sussex at Hove and finished eighth in a tight division, just two points off the top four after five wins, seven losses and two no results.
But ten Doeschate said: “We wanted to win as quickly as we could to have a chance, there was on point in messing around.
“But it’s not all doom and gloom. We have seen a number of very good players come through this season.”
Beaten by Kent at Chelmsford on Thursday night, in a match that saw 431 runs scored and the visitors break the world record for an opening partnership, Essex never looked like getting close to a target of 173 on a thrilling last night of the competition’s group stage.
Unlike Sussex earlier in the evening, their innings got off to an awful start as Varun Chopra – a centurion the night before – was out in the first over when he hit Danny Briggs to deep mid-wicket.
And the wickets continued to fall as Dan Lawrence was caught in the covers when he got a think edge to one from David Wiese and the bowler struck again in the same over when Ravi Bopara was well caught behind by the diving Ben Brown to make it 33-3.
It was 45-4 when James Foster was caught behind and Essex were in deep trouble at 49-5 in the eighth over when Will Beer had Ashar Zaidi caught at deep square-leg.
Everything now depended on Ten Doeschate but when he hit Beer high in the direction of cow corner Chris Jordan took an excellent running catch it was 64-6 in the 10th over.
After that even some late clouting from Paul Walter (19) and Simon Harmer (21) could not get the Eagles close and they were all out for 117 in the 16th over.
When Sussex batted Chris Nash was once again their star, with an innings of 73 off 55 deliveries.
It was his sixth half-century in the competition this year as he continued to turn around his disappointing early season form.
There were seven fours and two sixes in his innings which ended unluckily in the penultimate over when, playing a ramp shot off Mohammad Amir, he flicked a bail off his stumps with the stroke.
He batted with a runner towards the end of his innings after pulling up in pain following a quick single.Nash and Luke Wright put on 84 for the first wicket before Wright, attempting a straight six, was caught just inside the boundary by Ryan ten Doeschate for a 23-ball 37 in the ninth over.
The Sussex innings stumbled as they lost three wickets while scoring 18 runs off four overs, with the hosts going into the match without skipper Ross Taylor, who had returned home to New Zealand for family reasons.
But Nash finally found the support he needed in Laurie Evans, who hit an astonishing six over mid-wicket off Jamie Porter on his way to 47 off 34 deliveries.
Essex’s Amir will now return to his native Pakistan for a series of fitness and medical tests at the request of his national cricket board.
But he is scheduled to return to England on August 26 in time for Essex’s crucial county championship match against Somerset at the Cloudfm County Ground.