Shah shines under the lights
Owais Shah hit a half-century as Essex beat Glamorgan by four wickets with a ball to spare in their floodlit Friends Life t20 clash at the SWALEC Stadium.
It was only Essex’s third win in eight games and kept alive their chances of making the quarter-finals.
On the day he was recalled to England’s one-day and Twenty20 squads, Ravi Bopara did not have a match to remember in all three disciplines. He dropped a catch in the deep, went for 21 off an over and made just one.
After being put in to bat by on a slow wicket, Glamorgan, who included Simon Jones after his arrival on a month’s loan from Hampshire, made 141 for seven.
Shah, despite being involved in a couple of run-outs, helped Essex towards their target with 60 from 45 balls, negating the threat of spinners Robert Croft and Dean Cosker.
He fell with 18 needed off three overs, to be followed by Ryan ten Doeschate and Adam Wheater in successive deliveries, but James Foster saw Essex home.
Glamorgan made a productive start and finish to their innings, but were forced to rebuild in the middle.
Mark Cosgrove and Alviro Petersen cracked 34 off the first three overs but the Dragons were stopped in their tracks by spinner Tim Phillips, who took three quick wickets.
He had Cosgrove caught and bowled, bowled Petersen three balls later and in his next over had Jim Allenby stumped as Glamorgan slipped to 41 for three.
Mark Wallace hit two rare fours before he was fell to a brilliant left-handed catch in the deep by ten Doeschate, leaping back.
In the final five overs Glamorgan hammered 52 runs with Bopara having five minutes to forget. First he dropped Graham Wagg on the boundary and then disappeared for three sixes in an over.
When he batted Bopara had made one from seven balls when he edged Graham Wagg behind.
Man of the match Shah and Mark Pettini set the platform for the victory as they put on 63 in nine overs before Pettini was run out going for a quick single.
Matt Walker was also run out following a mix-up over a second run, and Shah looked to have seen Essex home before he fell to Alex Jones.
If Simon Jones had taken a tricky catch running in from long-off and Wagg had not missed a run-out - both in the final over - Glamorgan may have sneaked a win. As it was, Foster held his nerve for Essex.