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Essex Eagles v Hampshire Hawks – T20 Vitality Blast – Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford – Team News
Hampshire Hawks 155/6 (20.0 overs)
Essex Eagles 142 (19.2 overs)
Essex Eagles won the toss and elected to bowl
Hampshire Hawks won by thirteen runs
Essex Eagles suffered a frustrating defeat to Hampshire Hawks as T20 Vitality Blast cricket returned to The Cloudfm County Ground.
Deploying seven bowlers, Essex appeared on course having restricted the visitors to 155/6. Joe Weatherley caught the eye, scoring 42 off 34 deliveries before Jack Plom displayed a safe pair of hands on the rope to hand Jimmy Neesham a wicket off the second ball of his spell.
Sam Cook claimed 2/21, while Simon Harmer took 2/23 – Will Buttleman impressively marking his Blast debut with the stumping of Liam Dawson and a catch off Cook to send D’Arcy Short marching.
Hampshire swiftly removed Buttleman and Pepper, leaving the home side floundering on 24/2. However, a 53-run third-wicket partnership between Paul Walter and Tom Westley redressed the balance.
Walter departed, caught by wicketkeeper Lewis McManus off a ball from Mason Crane. Then Westley swiftly followed – Ian Holland with a direct hit as the right-hander scurried desperately, and ultimately unsuccessfully towards the Hayes Close End.
The 600-strong crowd was lifted by Neesham’s arrival, particularly off the back of his fireworks at Taunton. But after 28 off 17 balls, the New Zealand all-rounder disappeared – caught by skipper James Vince off Short – Essex’s hopes seemingly evaporating in that instance.
Brad Wheal and Crane each took two wickets, while the latter followed Holland’s earlier lead, running out both Harmer and Cook as Essex’s evening crumbled into disappointment.
Essex Eagles return to T20 Vitality Blast action on Sunday, June 13 when they face Glamorgan at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff (2:30pm).
Essex Eagles: T Westley, WEL Buttleman (WK), MS Pepper, PI Walter, RN ten Doeschate, JDS Neesham, SR Harmer (Capt), JH Plom, ASS Nijjar, SJ Cook, JA Porter
Hampshire Hawks: JM Vince (Capt), DJM Short, TP Alsop, JJ Weatherley, LA Dawson, JK Fuller, LD McManus (WK), IG Holland, CP Wood, MS Crane, BTJ Wheal
Umpires: GD Lloyd and PR Pollard
Scorers: AE Choat and AC Mills
Match Referee: Alec Swann