Nannes hat trick inspires Crusaders
A Dirk Nannes hat-trick inspired Middlesex Crusaders to a seven-wicket victory over Essex Eagles in the Twenty20 Cup at Chelmsford.
The left-arm seamer bowled Varun Chopra and Grant Flower before completing his hat-trick, the first by a Middlesex bowler in the competition, by trapping Ryan ten Doeschate.
That left Essex a disastrous 20 for five at the end of the fifth over, Nannes having earlier yorked Jason Gallian with his fifth delivery.
It was left to James Foster, leading the side in place of the injured Mark Pettini, to see Essex to an all-out total of 132 and a semblance of respectability.
He struck an unbeaten 50 from 42 deliveries, an effort containing six fours and a six, while Graham Napier weighed in with 31 from only 17 balls, three of which he hit for six.
Napier scored his runs while 37 were being scored in 23 balls for the eighth wicket.
Nannes eventually finished with four for 28 from his four overs, the medium-paced Tyron Henderson backing him up superbly with three for 27 in his allotted spell.
Henderson then went on to underline his qualities as an all-rounder as his no-nonsense approach took Middlesex to victory with 23 balls to spare.
Arriving at the fall of the second wicket with the total on 49, he struck fours from the first three deliveries he received from Maurice Chambers.
That introduction set the tone for a half-century that was reached from only 24 balls.
It contained seven fours and two sixes, and he was to add another couple of boundaries before fittingly gathering the winning runs to finish with 64 from 30 balls.
Billy Godleman, who made 30, and Dawid Malan with 23, paved the way for Henderson's onslaught by putting together an opening stand of 43 in just under six overs.
The result maintained the Crusaders' 100% record and move two points clear at the top of the South Division while Essex still have plenty of work ahead of them to qualify for the knockout stages, having won just one of their opening three games.