About the Match
South Division leader Essex with 18 points from 9 wins out of 10 played are facing Glamorgan, who are closely following behind with 13 points from 5 wins of the 12 matches played, at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff on 18th Jul. Glamorgans have been beaten squarely in 4 matches, one of them being against the same Essex team as they could not defend a well-made 189 for 6 on 23rd May and the recent loss to Sussex on 15th Jul by 5 wickets in which their bowlers let them down in defending 151. It will be a tough tussle between the two rival teams and cricket lovers surely can look forward to a thrilling contest on Friday.
Glamorgans had a fantastic win recently, the latest being a 4-run win against Surrey on 11th Jul, the match going to the last ball. Accepting the challenge to set a target, the top order clicked by making 192 for 4 with opener Rudolph hitting 75 off 56 balls, partnering with Allenby and Wallace. Cooke also played well with 43 off 23 balls and the bowlers denied the batsmen a free chase, Hogan taking 2 wickets, and with good support from other bowlers, restricted the opponents to just 188 for 4. But the bowlers failed on 15th July against Sussex, as they could not defend 151 on electing to bat and the openers Rudolph and Allenby laying good foundation with 59 for the 1st wicket. On 3rd Jul, they demonstrated that they could be good chasers too, by registering a 6 wicket win against Middlesex with 3 balls to spare, blasting 187 for 4 in reply to 184 for 3, Allenby hitting 105 off 63 balls, opening the innings with Rudolph. Their loss to Essex on 23rd May was also under a similar circumstance, after making a good total of 189 for 6 as the opponent reached the target with 2 balls to spare. Glamorgan bowlers need to sharpen their attack to capitalize on the good work of the batsmen.
They have beaten Surrey comprehensively by wickets with 9 balls to spare on 4th July chasing 165, in which Pettini, Bopara and Westley performed well though Ryder opening the innings with Pettini, succumbed without scoring to the 3rd ball of the innings. They followed up that win again on 12th Jul with a thumping 63 run victory over Kent at Castle Park, in which they reigned supreme by making 209 for 5 in 20 overs having been put into bat by Kent and losing openers Pettini and Ryder with just 2 runs on board by the 2nd over, proving the resilience in their batting line up, with Bopara, Doeschate and Whiteley living up to the expectations. Ryder bowled well to claim 5 wickets in their win against Kent while Bopara, Salisbury and Phillips shared honors in their 5 wicket win against Surrey. Essex is capable of repeating these performances against any team and will be fighting to maintain their lead.
Glamorgan has the confidence and determination but Essex will try and repeat their earlier win against the same opponent irrespective of whether they chase or set a target. I believe that Essex will win this game considering their recent performances.
Essex Eagles, 1.57 @ Titan Bet