T20 Blast round-up: Two tons, 29 sixes & 443 runs in Chelmsford thriller

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Colin Ingram also scored 101 not out against Sussex seven days ago
NatWest T20 Blast
Dates: 7 July – 2 September
Coverage: Ball-by-ball local radio commentary on every match online, tablets, mobiles and BBC Sport app. In-play highlights and live text commentary of selected games on the BBC Sport website. Selected commentaries on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

Colin Ingram’s superb T20 Blast century for Glamorgan overshadowed Essex opener Varun Chopra’s own brilliant hundred as the Welsh county won a last-ball thriller at Chelmsford.

Chasing 220 to win, Ingram smashed 114 off 55 balls including nine sixes, before the South African was run out in the penultimate over.

Requiring two off the final delivery, Craig Meschede cut Paul Walter for the 14th maximum of the innings to take the visitors to 224-5.

Earlier Chopra struck eight sixes in an unbeaten 103 off 59 balls, his maiden T20 century, and shared a county third-wicket record stand of 122 with Ravi Bopara (63) in the hosts’ 219-4.

But Ingram’s second three-figure score in this year’s competition led Glamorgan to the fourth-highest total to win a T20 match.

Elsewhere, Somerset picked up their first win in the tournament with a 21-run win over Middlesex at Uxbridge, helped by Adam Hose’s 22-ball half-century.

Leicestershire defended 147 to beat Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston to maintain their 100% winning start, while Jos Buttler hit 42 not out in Lancashire Lightning’s five-wicket victory over Derbyshire.

Rain ruined the final match of the Cheltenham Festival, with the game being called off before Gloucestershire could begin chasing Sussex’s 156-8.

New balls please!

The ball was sent into the crowd 29 times at Chelmsford

In one of the most extraordinary matches ever seen in the T20 Blast, 443 runs and 29 sixes were hit as the batsmen took a liking to the short Chelmsford boundaries.

Essex’s devastating assault on Glamorgan, led by Chopra and Bopara, saw seven balls clobbered out of the County Ground and replaced.

Chopra, who returned to Essex from Warwickshire this season, was dropped from the Bears’ limited-overs teams in 2016, despite scoring 97 not out in his only T20 innings of the campaign.

The 30-year-old is not renowned for his big-hitting but he delighted the home crowd with some of the cleanest striking ever seen at Chelmsford.

All-rounder Bopara was equally as destructive, clearing the ropes five times, as the pair took Essex from 72-2 to 194-3 in just 11 overs when Bopara was dismissed.

In the chase, 32-year-old Ingram made sure Glamorgan kept up with the required run-rate of 11 an over throughout, racing to his century off exactly 50 deliveries.

Spinner Simon Harmer received heavy punishment, going for 21 in his first over and conceding 50 runs off his set of four.

Despite Ingram and Chris Cooke (49) falling in the space of three balls, Glamorgan only needed nine off the final over and Meschede took them home.

McCullum failing to fire

Middlesex arguably have the strongest batting line-up in the competition, with Brendon McCullum, Dawid Malan, Paul Stirling and Eoin Morgan making up their top four.

But they have failed to click so far with Middlesex’s only victory a nervy one-wicket win over London rivals Surrey on Thursday.

Former New Zealand captain McCullum, who is skippering the side, was out for 10 in Sunday’s defeat by Somerset and has only scored 36 runs in four innings so far.

England limited-overs captain Morgan and his international team-mate Malan have been equally as disappointing with neither batsman registering a half-century in eight knocks.

Brendon McCullum is the second-highest T20 run-scorer behind Chris Gayle

While Middlesex have huge amounts of experience in their side, it was a relative novice in Hose who set up Somerset’s victory.

The 24-year-old, in just his fifth T20 match, blasted eight fours and two sixes in his 59 off 28 balls as the 2005 champions piled up 207-9.

Five batsmen passed 25 for Middlesex, but they fell short on 186-7 with paceman Craig Overton claiming 3-24.

With 443 runs scored in 40 overs at Chelmsford, do you think a side could ever score 300 in T20 cricket?

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