Essex beat Somerset to close in on Royal London One-Day Cup semi-final spot


Essex moved close to a home semi-final in the Royal London One-Day Cup with a 72-run win over the previous South Group leaders, Somerset.

Tom Westley was the mainstay of Essex’s 50-over total of 334 for six at Taunton, making exactly 100 from 98 balls. Ravi Bopara (92 not out) and Alastair Cook (65) also shone with the bat and fell well short, despite Johann Myburgh hitting 57 out of a 64-run opening stand with Jim Allenby.

Neil Wagner (three for 55) and Simon Harmer (three for 56) were instrumental in dismissing Somerset for 262 after 43.2 overs, with Allenby (77) top scoring.

Sussex’s hopes of reaching the knockout stages were dented by a six-wicket defeat by Gloucestershire at Eastbourne. Chasing 241 for victory, Luke Wright having top-scored with 84 for Sussex, got home with eight balls to spare as George Hankins (67), Jack Taylor (64) and Michael Klinger (53) all made vital contributions.

Surrey beat Hampshire by 66 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis method, despite George Bailey making 145 not out at The Oval. Bailey’s effort led to Hampshire’s 271 for eight but Kumar Sangakkara’s unbeaten 124 took Surrey to 238 for two from 38 overs when the rain arrived at 6pm to end proceedings.

The veteran Darren Stevens set a new List A record for Kent with his 147 coming off 67 balls and including 14 sixes, among a match total of 35. But Stevens was on the losing side at Swansea as Kent were all out for 341 after 47.2 overs, falling 15 runs short of Glamorgan’s 356 for seven. David Lloyd took five wickets for the Welsh county but their real hero was Colin Ingram who smashed his third century in four games with 114 from 98 balls.

In the North Group Yorkshire qualified for the knockout stages despite losing to Warwickshire by five wickets at Edgbaston. In-form Ian Bell scored 98 after the opening pair of Jonathan Trott (70) and Sam Hain (55) had laid the foundations for the Bears to chase down Yorkshire’s 281 for eight with 15 balls to spare.

Joe Root, Matthew Waite and Tim Bresnan all scored half-centuries to help the visitors recover from a poor start. But it was not enough to earn a sixth win from seven matches and they must now rely on other results going their way in the final round of matches if they are to clinch a home semi-final.

Worcestershire took advantage of Yorkshire’s slip to move top of the section after beating Durham by 15 runs. appeared on course to reach their target of 271 at New Road after an opening stand of 122 in 24 overs between Graham Clark and Keaton Jennings.

However, Clark’s 114 proved in vain as the former Durham all-rounder John Hastings and veteran Daryl Mitchell claimed three wickets each to restrict them to 255 for nine. Brett D’Oliveira had earlier top scored with 73 in Worcestershire’s 270 for eight.

Samit Patel’s century helped propel Nottinghamshire to a seven-wicket win over Lancashire and into the automatic qualifying positions. Patel scored an unbeaten 103 off 104 balls, hitting 11 fours and two sixes with Steven Mullaney finishing on 77 not out as the Outlaws chased down a victory target of 261 to win with 24 balls to spare. Earlier Lancashire scored 260 for six with Haseeb Hameed making an unbeaten 75.

Leicestershire kept their slim hopes of qualification alive with a five-wicket win over Derbyshire. Alex Hughes made an unbeaten 96 for the visitors but Derbyshire’s 219 never looked enough and half-centuries from Ned Eckersley (80), Lewis Hill (68 not out) and Cameron Delport (53) saw the Foxes home with 10 overs to spare.