Somerset 225 beat Essex 82 by 143 runs
Marcus Trescothick clubbed a superb unbeaten 108 for the biggest Friends Life t20 innings of the season as Somerset beat Essex by 143 runs at Chelmsford. The visiting captain scored his runs from only 61 deliveries to lead Somerset to 225 for 2.
It was a total that Essex never challenged as they were bowled out for only 82, which meant they suffered the heaviest margin of defeat suffered by any county in the competition.
Trescothick underlined his quality from the start as he plundered five sixes and 12 fours. He took part in a second-wicket stand of 71 in only six overs with Peter Trego, but the real fireworks arrived in the last four overs with James Hildreth as his partner.
They blasted 74 runs from the 24 deliveries sent down by Ryan ten Doeschate, Tim Southee and Chris Wright. Hildreth finished with 64 from 29 balls, with the help of three sixes and four fours.
The partnership produced an astonishing 127 runs in nine overs. Amid the carnage of the innings, fast bowler David Masters emerged with figures of 1 for 21 from his four overs, although three of them were sent down early on before Trescothick got into his stride.
Wright and Southee conceded 57 and 50 respectively from their allocations of four overs, while ten Doeschate gave up 32 runs in two overs and left-arm spinner Tim Phillips 23 in one.
Essex needed something bordering on the sensational if they were to deny Somerset. Although they began brightly by moving to 36 in the third over, thanks to a brief but belligerent innings from Ravi Bopara, it soon became clear the home side's mission was one of trying to achieve some semblance of respectability.
In the end they failed to do that. Their cause was hardly helped by the absence of Scott Styris, the New Zealander being unable to bat after seemingly pulling a hamstring in the middle of his final over and taking no further part in the game.
From 36 without loss, Essex lurched from one crisis to another before they were put out of their misery in the 11th over. Bopara top-scored with 29 from 14 balls, three of which he blasted for six, while medium-pacer Craig Meschede proved Somerset's most successful bowler by picking up 3 for 9 in 1.3 overs.
Steve Kirby finished with 2 for 19 and Murali Kartik 2 for 7, both of them sending down a couple of overs. Essex's score was their lowest in the competition and dealt another blow to their hopes of reaching the later stages.