Essex 143 for 3 (Ryder 42, Westley 41) beat Glamorgan 140 for 6 (Donald 51, Bopara 2-18) by seven wickets
Essex strolled to a seven-wicket victory with 22 balls to spare in their T20 Blast encounter with Glamorgan in Cardiff.
Chasing a modest 140 for 6, the visitors made light of their task, reaching 143 for 3 after opener Jesse Ryder set them on their way with a pulsating innings. The New Zealander struck 42 from 23 balls that included one six and eight fours. He found an admirable ally in Tom Westley as the pair added 55 runs in five overs following the departure of Ravi Bopara for 4.
When Ryder departed with the score on 64 for 2, Westley continued the fine start, easing the visitors to the halfway point of their reply at 87 for 2.
He finally departed for a 29-ball 41 when bowled by Colin Ingram but 19 year-old Dan Lawrence and experienced allrounder Ryan ten Doeschate saw their side to their first win of the season in the competition with an unbroken partnership of 49 runs in a little over five overs.
It all overshadowed the Glamorgan debut of South Africa paceman Dale Steyn, who is with the county for six matches in the competition. He might have had a wicket with his first ball but Bopara was dropped by Aneurin Donald at second slip. Although he beat the bat on a couple of occasions, he was punished by Ryder in particular and his three overs went for 32 runs.
Donald had provided rich entertainment for the passionate home crowd with a superb innings of 51 from 38 balls that included two sixes and five other boundaries. The 19-year-old was playing in only his fourth Twenty20 match but drove and carved with authority.
He featured in the substantial partnership of the innings as he and Ingram added 56 in 7.1 overs for the third wicket. Ingram contributed 26 before he became one of two wickets for Bopara.
The departure of Donald in the 14th over, when he was bowled by left-arm spinner Ashar Zaidi, left Glamorgan 105 for 4 but they lost their way thereafter.
The Essex attack restricted them to 20 runs from the next five overs before Pakistan international Wahab Riaz sent down a final over costing 15 runs including a towering straight driven 6 by Chris Cooke. However it all proved too little too late in the face of the Essex batting onslaught.