T20 Blast: Jesse Ryder fifty sees Essex beat Glamorgan
NatWest T20 Blast, Swalec Stadium
Essex Eagles 159-3 (18 overs) beat Glamorgan 157-2 (20 overs) by seven wickets
Essex opener Jesse Ryder hit his first half-century in the T20 Blast as his side sealed a home quarter-final with a seven-wicket win over Glamorgan.
The New Zealander struck 51 off 28 balls to give the Eagles a flying start as they chased down 158 in 18 overs.
Earlier, 41-year-old Murray Goodwin (71) and Jacques Rudolph (60 not out) had helped Glamorgan to 157-2.
After Ryder's early assault, Tom Westley hit 44 and Ravi Bopara (32 not out) eased the visitors home.
Having only lost the wicket of Jim Allenby as they entered the final stages of the innings, Glamorgan looked set for a bigger total.
But Graham Napier's penultimate over cost just four runs as only 14 came off the final 12 balls.
Big-hitting Ryder then set about the home bowlers from the off as he smashed the usually miserly Michael Hogan for 15 from his first over and then struck him for three consecutive fours in his next, as he shared an opening stand of 73 with Mark Pettini (28).
When Ryder eventually fell to Adam Salter, the ball after reaching his fifty, Essex needed less than six runs an over and Westley and Bopara made sure there were no slip-ups.
Essex, who have won 10 out 11 games, are now guaranteed a top-two finish in the South Group and will play at Chelmsford in the Natwest T20 Blast quarter-finals.