Chris Cooke century helps Glamorgan to victory at Middlesex
Chris Cooke’s maiden Vitality Blast century led the onslaught as Glamorgan beat Middlesex by 29 runs at Merchant Taylors’ School.
Cooke smashed 113 in 41 balls with seven sixes, moving from 50 to 100 in just 12 balls, as the Welsh visitors piled up 238 for three.
The wicketkeeper-batter shared a stand of 187 with South African Colin Ingram, a record for any wicket for Glamorgan against Middlesex in T20.
Ingram finished 92 not out having thrashed six sixes of his own, with the duo hitting 103 off the last five overs and 72 from the final three.
Blake Cullen was the only bowler to escape the carnage, returning two for 23, but team-mate Tom Helm was flayed to the tune of none for 69 – the worst figures ever by a Middlesex bowler in the format.
To their great credit, Middlesex made a valiant fist of the chase, with Joe Cracknell (77) and skipper Stephen Eskinazi (59) rewriting the home side’s record books with an opening stand of 145 – a record for any wicket against the Welshmen in the competition.
But Glamorgan’s spinners Peter Hatzoglou (two for 28) and Prem Sisodya (two for 34) bowled decisive spells to make sure the hosts came up short on 209 for five.
There was little sign of the carnage to come when the hosts struck two early blows after Glamorgan opted to bat first.
Sam Northeast drove Martin Andersson into the hands of Helm at mid-off and the successful bowler then produced a fine catch behind point to remove Eddie Byrom from the bowling of Cullen.
And though Kiran Carlson threatened briefly, when he top-edged Cullen to fine leg the visitors were 51 for three.
It was to prove Middlesex’s last hurrah, though, as Ingram and Cooke regularly peppered the spectators with blows clearing the ropes.
Ingram was initially the greater aggressor, cracking Andersson over cow corner before twice despatching young left-arm spinner Nathan Fernandes into the crowd on his way to 50 in 33 balls.
Cooke caught the mood, striking the ball cleanly, and went to his half-century seven balls quicker with his eighth four.
As it turned out he was simply warming up, with the six that followed raising the 100-partnership from 55 balls.
Six more sixes came, with Helm’s last two overs going for 25 and 27 respectively.
Eskinazi and youngster Cracknell got the hosts off to a flyer in reply, the latter top-edging Jamie Mcllroy over square leg for a maximum and adding 10 further fours to race to 50 in 26 balls.
The Durham University graduate then muscled first Sisodya and then Hatzoglou beyond the ropes as his assault continued, yet remarkably Eskinazi reached 50 a ball quicker courtesy of 11 fours.
Such was the savagery, the stand realised 145 before Cracknell was stumped by Cooke off the last ball of the 12th over trying to reverse sweep Hatzoglou.
The same shot then saw the demise of Eskinazi for 59 in the following over as the rate required climbed.
Max Holden struck one towering six in a bid to take up the cause but perished to a stunning catch by Byrom on the mid-off boundary trying to repeat the shot and ultimately 58 off the last three overs proved too many.
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