HARD-HITTING Jesse Ryder scored a quickfire half-century to help Essex seal a home tie in the NatWest t20 Blast quarter-finals with a seven-wicket win over Glamorgan at Cardiff.
After winning the toss the in-form South Group leaders restricted the home side to 157 for two before knocking off the required runs with 12 balls to spare.
It was a comprehensive defeat for the Welsh county who could yet need to beat Gloucestershire in their final game next week to make the last eight.
After being put in to bat on a slow pitch Glamorgan looked to have posted a useful total with Murray Goodwin (71) and Jacques Rudolph (60 not out) putting on 104 in 11.2 overs.
But Glamorgan were undone by the start from Ryder and Mark Pettini who made a dent in their chase by reaching 73 from the opening 33 balls. Tom Westley (44) and Ravi Bopara (32 not out) shared in a 60-run partnership for the third wicket to help Essex across the winning line.
After a slow start Glamorgan reached 43 for nought at the end of the six overs of the power play.
But on a typically slow Cardiff pitch the openers struggled to reach the boundary rope for 22 balls before captain Jim Allenby was caught and bowled by Bopara to leave Glamorgan 53 for one in the ninth over.
Glamorgan had only reached 61 for one at the halfway stage but Goodwin, who was promoted up the order, gave the innings some impetus by hitting Ryder for a six baseball style back over the bowler's head.
Goodwin reverse-swept spinner Tim Phillips for four which brought up the 100 before hitting the off-spinner over mid-wicket for six.
The former Sussex man continued to accelerate the Glamorgan score striking Bopara for three consecutive fours, while Rudolph, who dropped anchor, reached his 50 off 45 balls.
Goodwin followed Rudolph with his 50 from 29 balls and struck a straight six from the penultimate ball before holing out of the final delivery of the innings.
But Goodwin and Rudolph's good work was undone as Essex made a flying start to their reply. Ryder did not hold back as he swept Michael Hogan for six and then struck Andrew Salter over long on.
Ryder struck three consecutive fours off Hogan as 19 came from the fifth over.
Pettini was caught at mid off off Allenby but it mattered little to Essex who got to more than halfway to their total with 13.2 overs remaining.
Ryder holed out to Salter for 51, which came from only 28 balls with two sixes and six fours, but Essex's strong batting line-up was always too good for their hosts .