Shah puts Gloucestershire to the sword

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Owais Shah walloped 104 off 98 deliveries as Essex kept their hopes of qualifying for the Clydesdale Bank 40 play-offs alive with a 118-run win over Gloucestershire.

Owais Shah walloped 104 off 98 deliveries as Essex kept their hopes of qualifying for the Clydesdale Bank 40 play-offs alive with a 118-run win over Gloucestershire.

While Somerset look set to claim top spot in Group C, Essex remain in with a shot of finishing second and progressing to the semi-finals by virtue of being the best placed runnner-up.

Under this backdrop, wins are the order of the day for the Eagles, and James Foster's men achieved one in imperious fashion on Sunday.

Left reeling after Mark Pettini was dismissed lbw off the first ball of the innings, Essex responded in devastating fashion.

Shah clobbered nine fours and four sixes as he led the way for the home side. The former Middlesex man was given great support by first Tom Westley (50) and then Foster (66 off 45).

While Shah and Foster both perished with a handful of overs to spare, a quickfire 22 off nine balls from Graham Napier saw Essex to 299.

The total proved more than enough to bag the win and the two points that come with it as the Gloucestershire batsmen failed to make their mark.

Chris Taylor (47) was the only man to post a score of substance as the Gladiators meekly crumbled to 181 all out.

David Masters was the chief destroyer for Essex, finishing with figures of four for 32 that included the key scalps of Kevin O'Brien and Kane Williamson.

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