Vitality Blast: Somerset storm past Essex
PUBLISHED: 19:09 03 August 2018
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Johann Myburgh smashed a brilliant century as Somerset took a step closer to a place in the quarter-finals with a resounding ten-wicket Vitality Blast victory over Essex at Taunton.
After Essex had been limited to a modest 135-9, openers Myburgh and Tom Banton powered the hosts to victory, their third of the week, with more than eight overs to spare in front of a large crowd.
Banton set the tone for the Somerset reply when he scooped the last ball of the opening over from Jamie Porter over the wicketkeeper’s head for six.
Myburgh then took up the cudgels at the opposite end scoring 19 off Adam Zampa’s opening over of leg-spin.
The South African was on fire and went to his fifty with a lofted boundary over wide mid-wicket, his runs coming off 22 balls with 10 fours and a six.
When Zampa changed ends and Banton, making his first appearance of the season, joined in the party with a reverse sweep to the boundary.
Essex then turned to Ravi Bopara, but the diminutive Myburgh struck him for six over mid-wicket followed by a cover drive to the boundary to move into the 90s.
Myburgh duly went to his century with a four through the covers off the first ball of the 11th over – off 43 balls with 16 fours and three sixes, much to the delight of Somerset fans in the large crowd.
The winning runs were scored by Banton with a single into the off side, as he ended unbeaten on 29 while Myburgh was not out 103, his first-ever T20 century.
Earlier in the match after opting to bat first Essex were limited to well under par score by a well-disciplined bowling and fielding performances.
Jamie Overton made the vital breakthrough in the third over when he had Adam Wheater caught at backward point by Myburgh and the big fast bowler claimed another scalp when bowled Paul Walter.
Varuna Chopra and Ryan ten Doeschate started to look settled and had added 46 together when the Essex skipper was caught at short third man by James Hildreth off left-arm spinner Roelof van der Merwe for 26.
Three runs later Chopra was run out as he tried to regain his ground by a quick thinking Tim Abell who ran into remove the bails at the bowlers end.
Bopara and Michael Pepper then saw up the 100, but having moved onto 12 Bopara was caught and bowled by Overton.
Wickets then tumbled regularly with Jerome Taylor (3-28) claiming three in the final over as Overton ended with 3-23.
Having lost at Kent the night before, Essex return home to host Surrey on Sunday (2.30pm).