We were beaten by an extraordinary innings from Scott Styris tonight, 106 off 50 balls is good by any measure, but to be there at the end and see his side home, it has to be up there with the best Twenty20 Cup innings.
Symonds' bowling, 45 off 2.5 overs, and the incredibly costly drop of Scott Styris in the penultimate over, could be said to have cost us the match, but Styris got his team into that position with some superb power hitting and nothing should be taken away from him.
You always felt that with wickets in hand and a man with the talent of Styris at the crease that it was possible Essex could pull it off, but with the rate up and around 13-14 from about the 14th over onwards it didn't look likely. Tremlett's third over went for 27 and that really ignited things for the Eagles, even though his excellent fourth went for just three, the damage had been done.
Leaving Symonds to bowl the last was a tactical misjudgement from Hamilton-Brown, his economy this season has been terrible and he was never likely to restrict such a well set batsman. Chelmsford is a small ground and a batsman will always fancy his chances going into the last with six wickets in hand, even if the target is 22 runs!
It was a poor defeat, a couple of huge overs cost us dear. It seems odd that in recent games the skipper was so keen to bowl himself and yet today if he'd given himself one in the middle, we'd have had a front line seamer to bowl the last. Or alternatively Batty could've bowled more than his two - I hate to harp on about it but he's not in the side for his batting, so why does he often not bowl his quota?
That said, there are positives. Again we batted well, Davies is back in some spectacular form his 89 off 50 was excellent, although somewhat overshadowed by the Kiwi later on. Roy and Ramps contributed as well and if we had a bit more firepower in our lower order the extra 10 or so runs that might have brought would've been the difference.
We're in a good run of form and I know you're not supposed to change a (largely) winning formula, but it seems to me that in dropping Batty, as worthy a player as he is, and bringing in a batsman, we'd solve a major issue in our lower order. The quarter finals are still within reach, and we shouldn't lose too much heart from this, it will have been hard on the players to lose this so its important that they put it behind them and go and win the next one.
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