By Rich Jones
Glamorgan slipped to a narrow four-wicket defeat against Essex in a tense Royal London One-Day Cup clash in Chelmsford.
Brilliant innings from Colin Ingram was not enough to prevent Robert Croft’s side from slipping to their third consecutive defeat in the competition.
After Glamorgan won the toss and opted to bat, Ingram blasted a stunning century to continue his remarkable run of form in limited overs cricket.
A half-century from opener David Lloyd got them off to a fine start before he was caught by Jesse Ryder of the bowling of Graham Napier for 62.
Skipper Jacques Rudolph and Will Bragg also hit 44 runs apiece to ensure Ingram strolled to the crease with his side in a good position.
Just four days after his man of the match performance in the Natwest T20 Blast against Somerset, the South African-born ace struck 107 from just 73 balls.
Ingram, 31, struck seven fours and cleared the rope on six occasions to see them surpass the 300 run mark.
However, he was caught by Dan Lawrence off the bowling of Napier with 2.4 overs to spare and they ended on 324-8.
Essex opener Nick Browne got their reply off to a bright start before being run-out by Andrew Salter just one run short of his century.
His dismissal brought former England international Ravi Bopara to the crease, and he subsequently struck a classy 59 whilst Jesse Ryder also hit a run-a-ball half century.
As the game went down to the wire, Ryan ten Doeschate utilised all his experience to end 34* whilst wicket-keeper James Foster blasted a quick-fire 26 not out from just 12 balls to see them over the line with five balls to spare.
Timm van der Gugten and Graham Wagg both took two wickets apiece for the visitors, whilst all-rounder Craig Meschede claimed the wicket off Ryder in an economical spell.
Young spinner Salter also put in a useful performance with the ball, but it was not enough to defend their total in a thrilling encounter.
Despite losing their last three games in the 50-over competition, Glamorgan nonetheless remain fourth in the standings with a good chance to progress heading into their final two games.
They will face a crucial encounter with Hampshire at St Helen’s in Swansea on Sunday, July 31 before rounding off their group stage fixtures against Surrey at the Kia Oval the following day.
In the meantime, the Welshmen will turn their attentions back to the Natwest T20 Blast, taking on Sussex at Hove this Thursday and returning to Essex on Friday knowing one victory from their last two South Group games will secure a home quarter-final.