At the County Ground in Chelmsford, Somerset delivered an exceptional batting performance, overpowering Essex by seven wickets on Monday (June 19) on the typically flat surface. This victory propelled Somerset to the top of the points table in the South group, creating a two-point lead.
Having chosen to bowl first, Somerset made an ideal start with Jack Brooks and Matt Henry, their new-ball pair, taking early wickets. This left Essex struggling at 15/3 within the first three overs, including the crucial dismissal of the in-form Daniel Lawrence. However, the remarkable aspect of Essex’s batting lineup is their penchant for attacking, regardless of the match situation. Robin Das and Paul Walter exemplified this spirit with a blistering partnership of 94 runs off just 44 deliveries, both batsmen notching up half-centuries.
Essex seemed on track for another 200-plus total, as they had achieved the previous day, but Somerset’s bowling prowess thwarted their plans. Despite a brief cameo from Matthew Critchley to support Das after Walter’s departure, Essex experienced a dramatic collapse, losing their last six wickets for a mere 43 runs in 32 deliveries. Henry, accompanied by Ben Green, inflicted most of the damage, denying Essex the desired strong finish to their innings.
The target of 187 appeared to be 15-20 runs below par, and Somerset’s run chase proved this to be the case. None of their five batters who entered the crease scored fifty, but they all played their duties flawlessly to complete the pursuit with 21 balls remaining. There were as many as 16 sixes struck by the visitors in a merciless display of powerhitting. Will Smeed and Tom Banton provided a blazing start, while Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Tom Abell, and Sean Dickson contributed to the score.
Brief scores: Essex 186 in 19.2 overs (Robin Das 72, Paul Walter 51; Matt Henry 3-24) lost to Somerset 187/3 in 16.3 overs (Tom Banton 42, Tom Abell 40*; Daniel Sams 2-22) by 7 wickets