Josh Rymell struck the first century of his senior career as Essex beat Yorkshire by 129 runs in the Royal London Cup quarter-final tie at Chelmsford to earn a semi-final tie with Glamorgan at Sophia Gardens on Monday.
Chasing a challenging total of 317-7, Yorkshire were never in the hunt after losing half their side for 88 before succumbing for 188 in 38.4 overs, with Jack Plom taking three wickets and the Essex spin trio of Simon Harmer (2-25), Aron Nijjar (2-26) and Tom Westley (3-33) claiming the remaining seven wickets.
Rymell, 20, batted magnificently as he put Yorkshire’s attack to the sword.
The latest cab off the rank of the famed Essex Academy, playing only his sixth List A match, drove, cut and carved with aplomb displaying a maturity in shot-selection and performance that belied his inexperience.
Rymell was dropped on 36 by Dom Bess off the bowling of George Hill and ensured the visitors were made to pay heavily for the error.
His half-century arrived from 78 balls and he needed only a further 37 balls to reach his milestone hundred, which included 12 fours and six.
💯 𝗔𝗻𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗔𝗰𝗮𝗱𝗲𝗺𝘆 𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗱𝘂𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮 𝗰𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘂𝗿𝘆 👏
A special moment for @josh_rymell 👌 pic.twitter.com/bkmY2steO3
Rymell – who added 68 in 9.4 overs with Paul Walter (33 off 33) and 68 in 6.4 overs with Adam Wheater (34 off 20) – saw his innings ended when he was bowled attempting to cut Hill in the 47th over.
But Harmer (31no off 13) and Nijjar (23no off 11) continued the frenetic tempo adding 50 runs in 22 balls as the innings closed having seen the addition of 194 runs from the last 20 overs.
In reply, the visitors lost Harry Duke (4) but Will Fraine (31) and Will Luxton (34) helped themselves to 28 runs from two overs from pacemen Ben Allison and Plom to raise the Tykes; hopes.
However, the introduction of Harmer and Nijjar proved significant. In seven overs, they shared four wickets at a cost of 20 runs to leave Yorkshire reeling on 88-5
Harmer ended the second-wicket partnership of 63 when he had Fraine caught at long-on and then dismissed Hill (2), while Nijar trapped Luxton lbw and bowled Jonny Tattersall (6).
Essex skipper Westley introduced spin into the attack and struck in his second over, trapping opposite number Gary Ballance in front of his stumps for 11 and then had Bess caught for six as Yorkshire slipped to 125-7.
Matt Revis (42) and Matt Waite (31) added a note of respectability with 46 for the eighth wicket but Essex ran out convincing winners and are now one game away from their first List A Final since 2008.
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