Essex all-rounder Graham Napier claimed an incredible four wickets in four balls on Monday evening as his side thrashed Surrey in the Yorkshire Bank 40 at Chelmsford.
He finished with career-best figures of 7-32 as Surrey were bowled out for just 134 runs in just shy of 30 overs.
Prior to Napier's dismantling of the opposition's batting line-up, Essex finished on an impressive 312-7, former England batsman Owais Shah top scoring with 68 from just 53 balls. There were valuable contributions from much of Essex's higher order, including Tom Westley (34), Mark Pettini (43) and Ravi Bopara (54), whilst wicket keeper James Foster smashed 39 off just 25 balls towards the end of the innings.
In reply, only Gary Wilson (38 not out) and Azhar Mahmood (36) put up any sort of resistance to Napier's stunning form. Once the latter was bowled out however, the wickets began to tumble, with Napier removing the next three batsman in as many balls before the tail-end crumbled.
Essex won by an astonishing 178 runs in total, with Napier no doubt the star of the show. Hishaul was Essex's second-best limited-overs haul, only bettered by Keith Boyce's 8-26 against Lancashire at Old Trafford way back in 1971.
The result leaves Essex top of the YB40 Group B having won four and lost one of five games played, whilst Surrey sit in fourth having played a game more, with two wins, two draws and two non-results. In Group A meanwhile, Nottinghamshire sit top having won all five of their games.
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