Ten Doeschate loss tempers Essex joy
An injury to Ryan ten Doschate marred Essex Eagles’ delight at a 10-run Friends Provident t20 victory over Somerset Sabres at Taunton.
The all-rounder top-scored with 48 from 31 balls in Essex’s 177 for seven, taking his average in the competition to a shade under 74, but was forced to retire hurt with a torn calf muscle that is likely to keep him out for six weeks.
Somerset looked in control in reaching 122 for two in the 13th over, with Nick Compton contributing 74 and Marcus Trescothick 40.
But a clatter of wickets saw them collapse to 167 for nine as David Masters, Scott Styris and Danish Kaneria claimed two victims each.
Both teams have now won two games and lost three in the South Group and will need to improve to feature in the quarter-finals.
The Essex innings was given a brisk start by Alastair Cook after they had won the toss. The England opener hit four fours from nine balls before sweeping a ball from Zander de Bruyn straight to James Hildreth at short fine-leg.
Ravi Bopara fell cheaply, but Matt Walker hit four fours and a six in his 35, while ten Doeschate was in supreme touch from the start of his innings and looked set to lift Essex towards 200 as he took successive sixes off Arul Suppiah.
It was a massive blow for the Eagles when he collapsed attempting a quick single off Kieron Pollard with the total on 148 for four in the 17th over.
Alfonso Thomas, who finished with 3-24, removed Grant Flower and Tim Phillips in a typically tight last over to keep Essex below 180.
That did not look like being enough when Trescothick and Compton put on 99 in 11 overs, or when Kieron Pollard came in to blast three sixes in the space of four balls off Kaneria. But he was out in the same over and Essex sensed their chance.
Compton was out hit-wicket trying to reverse sweep Masters, having faced 55 balls and hit 11 fours, but at 147 for four the home side still looked favourites.
However, Masters, Styris and Chris Wright had other ideas at the death, bowling full and running through the middle and lower order.