Essex 146 for 5 beat Glamorgan 144 for 9 by five wickets
Tim Southee returned the best figures by an Essex bowler in the Friends Life t20 as Glamorgan suffered a five-wicket defeat at Chelmsford.
The right-arm paceman included a hat-trick in his four-wicket final over as he finished with 6 for 16 from his permitted four overs, and Glamorgan reached a total of 144 for 9.
The performance of the New Zealand bowler followed the feat of Somerset's Arul Suppiah against Glamorgan earlier in the week, when he established a world record in the Twenty20 format with six wickets for five runs. Nick James, Stewart Walters and Alex Jones were the hat-trick victims of Southee as the Welsh county collapsed after moving into three figures in the 15th over with only two wickets down.
Gareth Rees, with 38 from 34 balls, was Glamorgan's top scorer, while the other main contributor was Walters, whose 37 arrived from 33 deliveries. Essex did not find the going easy in pursuit of victory, losing three wickets for 36 in the first six overs.
Adam Wheater fell lbw to Simon Jones after striking three boundaries, Southee was caught in the deep off Alex Jones, and Owais Shah was trapped lbw by Will Owen. Essex would have found themselves in worse trouble if Walters had accepted a catch at deep backward point offered by Mark Pettini with the total on 44.
Pettini made good his escape to take the total to 87 with Matt Walker before both were out in quick succession. Pettini was caught at long on for 33, attacking Alviro Petersen, while James held a superb return catch to remove Walker for 28.
Essex came to the final five overs still 49 short of their target, but Scott Styris ensured they could achieve victory with five balls to spare. He struck two sixes in an over from Simon Jones, and also cleared the ropes twice against Alex Jones as he finished unbeaten with 42 from 21 balls.
But Essex did not get to the winning post without a touch of controversy. With 10 required from eight deliveries, Styris was caught on the long-on boundary by Alex Jones, but as Glamorgan celebrated, the umpires, after conferring, deemed the delivery, from Mike O'Shea, a no-ball because it was above waist-high.