Jesse Ryder 'goes pongo' with the bat for Essex
A rollicking half century from New Zealand's Jesse Ryder has helped Essex gain a home quarterfinal in England's T20 Blast.
The Wellington allrounder continued his fine form, thumping 51 off just 28 balls to help Essex cruise past Glamorgan's 158 with 12 balls to spare in Cardiff at the weekend.
Opening the batting for the run chase, Ryder hit six fours and two sixes for a strike rate of 182.14.
He shared an opening stand of 73 off only 5.4 overs with Mark Pettini to lay the platform for victory.
Essex continue to dominate the championship's southern division. They have won 10 of their 12 matches and were four points clear of Surrey at the top of the table. They have two regular season matches left, but the win at the weekend secured a home run for the playoffs.
Essex captain James Foster had high praise for Ryder.
"We believe we can chase anything down, we're very confident in our ability at the moment," Foster said of Essex's T20 form.
"Jesse and Mark got us off to a flyer ... Jesse has gone absolutely pongo from ball one and got us way ahead of the rate and the rest of us just had to knock it around."
It wasn't the perfect weekend for Essex though as they lost a tight match to Gloucestershire this morning (NZ time) with Ryder notably absent from their lineup as the county took the opportunity to rest some of their players.
In the northern division, Scott Styris was dismissed for just three as Leicestershire collapsed to be out for 90, chasing Notthinghshire's 121.
The win lifted Notts to second in their division. Leicester languished second to bottom.