It was a night to forget for the Glamorgan Dragons at the SWALEC Stadium and judging by the size of the crowd not many fans would have left disappointed as the home side slumped to their third defeat in this years Friends Life t20.
In front of a crowd which could be at best described as “missing” the Dragons slumped to a four wicket defeat against the Essex Eagles who kick started their campaign with a much needed victory.
Having been put into bat, the Dragons top order fail to fired and it was left to Chris Cooke and Graham Wagg to put together a 6th wicket stand of 49 to help the home side record a total of 141-7.
Faced with a tricky run chase, Owais Shah (60) led the Eagles to victory despite playing a large role in the dismissals of David Masters (34) and Matt Walker (2) who were both run out after Shah’s reluctance to take quick singles.
Having run two of his teammates out Shah made sure he played a large role in helping the Eagles break their two game losing streak despite a lower order slump which almost saw the Dragons snatch an unlikely victory.
With the visitors on course for an easy win, Alex Jones struck in the 17th over to remove Shah before Ryan ten Doeschate (26) and Adam Wheater (0) fell in quick succession to set up a tense finish.
With the pressure mounting James Foster (12) and Tim Southee (12) steered the Eagles to victory, scoring seven runs in the final over which was bowled by Jones to give the Eagles victory by the narrowest of margins.
The Eagles got the evening off to a good start after James Foster won the toss and elected to put the Dragons into bat on a slow turning wicket which Tim Phillips (18-3) took full advantage off.
The 30 year struck three times in the space of five deliveries to remove Mark Cosgrove (20), Alviro Petersen (13) and James Allenby (3) to leave the home side 41-3 at the end of the 6th over.
With the pressure mounting on the home side, Ben Wright and Mark Wallace halted the slide with a vital 4th wicket stand of 39 before Master struck to remove Wright (23) at the start of the 14th over.
Wallace (22) quickly followed after he was brilliantly caught by ten Doeschate off the bowling of Ravi Bopara an over later to leave the Dragons 87-5 with just six over remaining.
With the Dragons now on the back foot, Cooke came to their rescue smashing three sixes during his 18 ball cameo to lead the recovery which left the Eagles with a tricky run chase.