Essex batsman Lawrence happy to finally make the most of a start in Middlesex win
PUBLISHED: 11:30 17 August 2018
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After getting out on 49 last month and making double figures numerous times, the 21-year-old claimed his maiden fifty in T20 cricket last night
Essex youngster Dan Lawrence was pleased to finally make the most of a start in the Vitality Blast this season with a match-winning 86 in a six-wicket victory away to old rivals Middlesex last night.
The hosts’ batted first at Lords and scored 210-3 from their 20 overs with opener Paul Stirling hitting 78 and England ODI captain Eoin Morgan adding 77 not out.
It failed to deter the Eagles in reply, however, as Varun Chopra (51) and Lawrence put on 105 for the third wicket.
Although Essex’s talented batsman fell 14 runs short of a century, Ravi Bopara held his nerve and ended unbeaten on 31 with Ashar Zaidi’s 20 not out from eight balls seeing the visitors home with four balls to spare.
Lawrence said: “It’s a great setting in which to return to form. It has been a bit of a frustrating year.
“I haven’t really kicked on from the starts I’ve got and not scored enough runs, so it was nice to get some time in the middle and get some runs.
“I would have batted the same way whatever we were chasing. It was a change of mindset to go out there and try and whack it from ball one.
“Varun has played beautifully all the way through this tournament. He played the situation so well and we had fun out there for our hundred partnership.”
The victory was only Essex’s second of the campaign and coincidentally the first also occurred against Middlesex at Chelmsford where Eagles got home by three wickets.
Both sides were battling out to avoid the wooden spoon last night and Stirling, who hit 78 for the hosts, couldn’t help but hide his disappointment at the result.
He admitted: “It is pretty gutting to be fair. We have put up a few good scores recently and not managed to get over the line with the ball.
“There have been some signs of improvement in little places here and there, but collectively it has not got us the win.
“Sometimes it is hard to tell what is a good score. There were periods out there when I was batting where they bowled quite slow into the deck and I struggled.
“So, I thought if I’m struggling it might be tough work for other people further down the line. At that stage I was thinking we were well above par.
“But the way ‘Morgy’ struck them so cleanly, I was thinking the dew factor might see it skid on a bit quicker. And as they showed there was no stopping them once they got going.”
Essex will conclude their South Group campaign this evening at home to Kent while Middlesex finish away to Sussex tonight.