Essex booed off after paltry 74
Middlesex 77 for 2 (Denly 34) beat Essex 74 (Shah 39, Mills 3-4) by eight wickets
Essex were booed off the field by some members of the crowd after being crushed by Middlesex at Chelmsford. Essex were bowled out for 74, their lowest-ever Flt20 total, and lost by eight wickets.
Only Owais Shah, with 39 from 43 balls, posed any threat as the rest of his colleagues were swept aside with embarrassing ease.
Essex's hopes of posting a challenging total lay in ruins after only four overs. By that time they had lost half their side for 12 runs, with New Zealand paceman Kyle Mills sending them on the slippery slope by removing Greg Smith and Graham Napier with the first four balls of the match.
Mills then dismissed fellow countryman Hamish Rutherford who put up an easy catch to Joe Denly to pave the way for Gurjit Sandhu to inflict further damage. Sandhu had Jaik Mickleburgh caught behind by Adam Rossington before bowling Ryan ten Doeschate with his next delivery.
Shah, whose innings included six boundaries, was the seventh man out with the total on 59 when he was stumped advancing down the pitch to left-arm spinner Ravi Patel.
Mills picked up his three wickets for only four runs in three overs while Sandhu and Neil Dexter ended with 2 for 15 and 2 for 18 respectively as the home side's sorry effort came to an end in the 17th over.
In the face of such a low total, Middlesex had no difficulty in carving out a victory that enabled them to join Surrey level on points at the top of the table.
Shaun Tait did offer Essex a glimmer of hope when he removed openers Paul Stirling and Dawid Malan in his first two overs but Joe Denly and Adam Voges carried the visitors past the winning post.
Denly set the scene with three boundaries in an over off Napier on his way to an unbeaten 34 while Voges finished with 22 not out as Middlesex were able to celebrate victory with 10.1 overs to spare.