Essex v Hampshire

A destructive innings from Ronnie Irani saw Essex to an easy seven-wicket triumph against Hampshire in their Twenty20 Cup battle at Chelmsford.

The home skipper struck an unbeaten 81 from only 48 deliveries as his side surpassed the visitors' 158 for seven with 3.2 overs to spare.

Irani hammered four sixes and nine fours in a masterful display of clean hitting.

He was particularly severe on Shaun Udal, greeting his first delivery with the first of his sixes and moving to his half-century from 28 balls with another mighty hit against the off-spinner.

Udal, however, did have the consolation of picking up the wickets of Darren Gough, appearing at number three, and Andy Flower at a personal cost of 32 - but Irani's fireworks ensured there was only ever going to be one winner.

Sharing the limelight with him was Graham Napier, who put Hampshire on the back foot by breaching the defences of Dominic Thornely and Greg Lamb with the first and third deliveries of his opening over.

With Andy Bichel having held a return catch earlier to get rid of Mitchell Stokes, Hampshire found themselves 26 for three and they were also to lose Michael Carberry, another Napier victim, before the 50 was reached in the eighth over.

A recovery and much-needed momentum was provided by Chris Benham and Nic Pothas as they struck 57 in just six overs.

Benham was chiefly responsible for that as he helped himself to 10 boundaries in an innings of 59 spanning 35 balls before he was bowled in Gough's second spell.

That left Dimitri Mascarenhas to usher Hampshire to something approaching a challenging total as he collected an unbeaten 35 from 26 deliveries.

Both he and Benham showed a particular liking to medium paceman Ravi Bopara, whose three overs cost 43.

In contrast Napier returned three for 19 in his permitted four overs while Gough, Bichel and Tim Phillips never went for more than 27 in their full allocation.

But later, it was Irani who went on to steal the show while claiming his second half-century in this season's competition and seeing Essex to their second win.


Twenty20 Cup, 2006, South Division
Essex v Hampshire
County Ground, Chelmsford (day/night)
30 June 2006 (20-over match)

Result: Essex won by 7 wickets
Points: Essex 2, Hampshire 0

Toss: Hampshire
Umpires: RK Illingworth and AA Jones
TV Umpire: JW Lloyds
Man of the Match: RC Irani

Hampshire innings (20 overs maximum)                            R   M   B  4 6
MA Carberry           c Middlebrook      b Napier              24  27  23  4 0
MST Stokes                           c & b Bichel               1   4   2  0 0
DJ Thornely                              b Napier               7  12   8  0 1
GA Lamb                                  b Napier               0   1   2  0 0
CC Benham                                b Gough               59  39  35 10 0
+N Pothas             run out                                  15  17  15  1 0
AD Mascarenhas        not out                                  35  29  26  2 1
JJ McLean             c ten Doeschate    b Bichel               8  13  10  0 0
CT Tremlett           not out                                   0   1   0  0 0
Extras                (b 1, lb 3, w 3, nb 2)                    9
Total                 (7 wickets, 20 overs)                   158

DNB: *SD Udal, BV Taylor.

FoW: 1-8 (Stokes), 2-28 (Thornely), 3-28 (Lamb), 4-37 (Carberry),
     5-94 (Pothas), 6-126 (Benham), 7-152 (McLean).

Bowling                      O      M      R      W
Gough                        4      0     25      1 (1w)
Bichel                       4      0     26      2 (1nb, 1w)
Napier                       4      0     19      3
Middlebrook                  1      0     14      0
Phillips                     4      0     27      0
Bopara                       3      0     43      0 (1w)

Essex innings (target: 159 runs from 20 overs)                  R   M   B  4 6
ML Pettini            c Taylor           b Mascarenhas         19  15  12  4 0
*RC Irani             not out                                  81  60  48  9 4
D Gough               lbw                b Udal                14  14  12  2 0
A Flower                                 b Udal                15  11  14  2 0
RS Bopara             not out                                  12  15  14  1 0
Extras                (b 1, lb 5, w 15)                        21
Total                 (3 wickets, 16.4 overs)                 162

DNB: RN ten Doeschate, JD Middlebrook, +JS Foster,
        TJ Phillips, AJ Bichel, GR Napier.

FoW: 1-44 (Pettini), 2-91 (Gough), 3-125 (Flower).

Bowling                      O      M      R      W
Tremlett                     3      0     34      0 (1w)
Taylor                       2      0     23      0 (1w)
Mascarenhas                  2      0     23      1 (2w)
Thornely                     3      0     20      0
Udal                         4      0     32      2 (1w)
Lamb                         2.4    0     24      0 (2w)
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