West­ley is the dif­fer­ence

Gloucestershire Echo - - SPORT -

TOM West­ley scored a bril­liant un­beaten half cen­tury as Es­sex de­feated Glouces­ter­shire by 25 runs.

He top-scored with 86 not out and shared in stands of 81 and 105 with Cameron Del­port and Dan Lawrence for the first and third wick­ets re­spec­tively as Es­sex reg­is­tered their high­est score in matches against Glouces­ter­shire, eclips­ing the 204-4 they made in a win­ning cause at Chelms­ford in 2011.

Del­port and Lawrence also con­trib­uted half cen­turies to pro­pel the vis­i­tors to an im­pos­ing 206-3 on a used pitch.

Un­done by the loss of early wick­ets, Glouces­ter­shire left them­selves with too much to do, their top-or­der short­com­ings ren­der­ing a fre­netic fifth wicket stand of 93 in 42 balls be­tween Jack Tay­lor and Ryan Hig­gins in­con­se­quen­tial as they came up short at 1815.

The de­ci­sion to re­store West­ley to the top of the or­der fol­low­ing a spell at num­ber three paid div­i­dends for Es­sex as their open­ing pair staged a bound­ary-laden stand of 81 in­side nine overs.

Hard-hit­ting South African Del­port adopted the aerial route and took the eye ini­tially, club­bing five sixes and two fours in har­vest­ing 51 from 31 balls.

Dropped at mid-off by An­drew Tye off the bowl­ing of David Payne when on 23, Del­port made good his es­cape as the vis­i­tors posted their high­est open­ing part­ner­ship of the cam­paign.

There­after, West­ley took cen­tre stage, strik­ing the ball cleanly, find­ing the gaps with the aid of adept place­ment and run­ning fu­ri­ously be­tween the wick­ets in rais­ing a 36-ball half cen­tury.

Aided and abet­ted by Lawrence, who proved adept at ro­tat­ing the strike, West­ley launched a vi­o­lent as­sault on Tom Smith’s slow left arm spin as the 14th over yielded 24 runs.

But he was de­nied what would have been a third T20 hun­dred by Lawrence, who dom­i­nated the strike in smash­ing a 27-ball 50. Pro­moted up the or­der for this match, Lawrence raised that land­mark in the grand man­ner, hoist­ing Tye over long-on for six, one of three max­i­mums in a high-oc­tane in­nings. The third wicket re­alised 105 runs from 52 balls and ef­fec­tively car­ried the game out of Glouces­ter­shire’s reach.

Hav­ing set his stall out to carry his bat, West­ley fin­ished on 86 not out from 54 balls, hav­ing ac­crued seven fours and three sixes.

Un­der pres­sure to start fast, Glouces­ter­shire lost Miles Ham­mond and the tal­is­manic Michael Klinger in­side five overs. When James Bracey holed out to long-on two overs later, the hosts were 43-3 and up against it.

Mak­ing his T20 de­but, Aaron Beard then ac­counted for Ian Cock­bain, held at mid-off, as Glouces­ter­shire’s top or­der crum­bled un­der duress.

Re­quired to chase down 139 runs from 55 de­liv­er­ies, Hig­gins and Tay­lor traded al­most ex­clu­sively in bound­aries to at least give home sup­port­ers some­thing to cheer.

Hig­gins raised a 28-ball 50 with a huge max­i­mum over square leg, but when Tay­lor holed out in the deep for 42 in the 18th over with 46 still needed, the game was all but up.

Hig­gins fin­ished on 77 not out from 43 balls, with three sixes and six fours.

Glouces­ter­shire head coach Richard Dawson said: “We didn’t play our best cricket the other night (at Glam­or­gan) and we weren’t at our best here ei­ther. On this oc­ca­sion, we’ve been made to pay for it.

“I don’t think we bowled par­tic­u­larly well at any stage.

“We let them get away and, although Benny How­ell gave us back a bit of con­trol, we weren’t able to ex­ert pres­sure from both ends.

“Es­sex worked out Tom Smith re­ally well and never lost their mo­men­tum.

“We lost it in the first six or seven overs of our in­nings. That to­tal should have been one we could chase down on that pitch, but we lost too many wick­ets up top.

“Jack Tay­lor and Ryan Hig­gins played good cricket shots and kept it sim­ple, but the dam­age had al­ready been done. There are lessons to be learned and we need to learn them quickly.”

Jack Tay­lor’s in­nings of 42 against Es­sex was all in vain for Glouces­ter­shire

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.