Essex 184 for 4 Gloucestershire 118 by 66 runs
Essex moved into the top four of the Friends Provident t20 South Division with a comprehensive 66-run victory over Gloucestershire at Bristol.
The Eagles posted 184 for 4 after winning the toss, Matthew Walker top-scoring with 66 and Scott Styris blasting 41 including five fours and two sixes. James Franklin took 2 for 33.
In reply, the Gladiators could manage only 118 all out in 17.3 overs as Styris, Chris Wright and Danish Kaneria claimed two wickets each. The home side remained rock bottom having won only two of their eight matches. Only youngster Chris Dent (31) and Chris Taylor (32) could make any impression on the Essex bowling as Gloucestershire slumped again, having been bowled out for only 68 in their previous game with Hampshire Royals.
They were never in the hunt after experimental opener Jon Lewis fell for a duck in the opening over, sent down by Styris. Too many batsmen offered catches, the best of them a tumbling effort from Tim Phillips at deep mid-wicket to dismiss Steve Snell.
Earlier, Essex had also made a poor start to their innings with Ravi Bopara (two) run out off the third ball by Franklin's direct hit at the bowler's end from mid-off. But Alastair Cook and Walker soon repaired the damage, adding 63 in eight overs. Cook smashed a Gemaal Hussain full toss over mid-wicket for six and also hit three fours in making 38 off 32 balls before top-edging a short one from Franklin to cover.
The real acceleration came when Walker and Styris plundered 60 in four overs between the 13th and 16th, with Styris twice lifting the off-spin of Kadeer Ali straight over the bowler's head for six. It was 147 for 3 when the New Zealander fell to Franklin having faced only 21 deliveries. Walker followed with the total on 165, having reached a half-century off 34 balls, with eight fours.
Hussain went for 42 off his four overs. Lewis was the pick of the Gloucestershire bowlers, conceding only 19 from his full stint. It was the Eagles' fourth win in seven t20 games and they remain well on course for a quarter-final place.