Essex Eagles hit Glamorgan hard in Vitality Blast best
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Dan Lawrence and Paul Walter's impressive hitting fired Essex to their highest Vitality Blast total as they kept their home quarter-final dreams alive with a 69-run win over Glamorgan.
Lawrence thrashed 71 off 37 balls, Walter hit 58 and Adam Rossington made 45 to lift the Eagles to 254-5, beating the 244 set barely two weeks ago.
The visitors reached 185-7 in reply, despite an unbeaten 97 from stand-in captain Sam Northeast in the South Group clash at Chelmsford.
Essex - winners in 2019 - had already confirmed a knockout spot and the win means they will host a last-eight match if Surrey beat Somerset on Sunday.
The hosts were put in and went on the attack from the off on a belting wicket with short boundaries.
Robin Das struck the first of 16 sixes in the third over by striking over long-off, before following it up with a second over deep midwicket with the next ball.
Das pulled another ball to the boundary before he skied to cover to give Jamie McIlroy his first T20 wicket on debut, he would later pick up Lawrence to claim an impressive 2-32 - the only bowler to go at under 10 an over.
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Rossington, who scored 95 the previous evening, hit seven boundaries and a six off 23 balls - but his quick scoring was just the prelude for what was to come.
Michael Pepper was caught on the reverse and Rossington holed to long-on before Lawrence and Walter's 101-run partnership from 69 balls, although there was an 18-ball gap between boundaries at one point.
Douthwaite went for 12 and 13 in successive overs as he returned the fourth-worst bowling figures in Blast history, eventually going for 66 in four wicketless overs.
But the showpiece over for Essex was the 31 taken off Prem Sisodiya. Walter started off with four sixes over the long square boundary, then scraped a single, before Lawrence produced another maximum.
It started a final five overs where 95 runs were plundered. Walter fell for a 23-ball 58 - which had included rope clearers - but Daniel Sams picked up where he had left off with three sixes in his first four balls.
Lawrence had been 18 off his first 20 balls but caught up in style to reach his 11th T20 half-century in 30 balls before eventually being caught at long off for 71. Fifteen of those runs came off the final over as Eagles compiled the joint fourth-best total in the tournament's history.
Glamorgan, having conceded their highest score in the competition, never looked like replicating their greatest chase of 224 - against Essex in 2017 - with three wickets falling in the powerplay.
Aaron Beard was the chief destroyer as he picked up 2-16, with debutant Tom Bevan top-edging to deep third and Billy Root seeing his three stumps uprooted, before Sams had Colin Ingram flicking to deep square leg.
Eddie Byrom and Chris Cooke were caught but Sam Northeast, skippering his third Blast side for the first time, stuck around and plundered a couple sixes of his own on his way to a 38-ball half-century - his third in T20s against Essex.
Douthwaite chipped in with 34 off 17 in a 62-run stand but had his stump broken by Sams. As the required rate broke the impossible 36 mark, Andrew Salter and Northeast started to have fun with 16 runs coming from three successive overs.
Salter holed out and Northeast ended his campaign needing a boundary for a second Blast century, but could only manage a single.