Kent Spitfires v Essex Eagles
Royal London One-Day Cup - South Group - At Canterbury
By Brian Jeeves
Essex 307/6 (50 overs)
Kent 50/3 (11.0/11 overs, target 108)
Essex won by 57 runs (D/L method)
ESSEX EAGLES secured a Royal London One-Day Cup semi-final place following a 57-run Duckworth/Lewis victory in a rain-affected contest with Kent at Canterbury.
Having been offered the opportunity to bat, Essex’s opening pair of Varun Chopra and Alastair Cook put on 95 for the first wicket, the later first to depart, snared in the gloves of wicketkeeper Adam Rouse off the bowling of
Imran Qayyum for 54.
Chopra eventually fell for 83, while Ravi Bopara fell just short of hit half-century as Essex continued to pile on the runs. The visitors eventually posting 307/6 from their allocated fifty overs. Qayyum and Calum Haggett took two wickets apiece for Kent, but the dismissals came at the price, the pair finishing with figures of 2/79 and 2/59 respectively.
The Essex attack made swift inroads into the Kent top order, with Zak Crawley, Sam Northeast and Sean Dickson all removed inside the opening ten overs and wit just 33 on the scoreboard.
However, the inclement weather intervened with the host’s on 50/3 and it soon became apparent that no further play would be possible, handing Essex the win they needed to progress.
Daniel Bell-Drummond’s unbeaten 25 was the highlight of Kent’s short responses. Meanwhile, Ashar Zaidi took 2/10 from his two overs with the ball.
Essex can now look forward to a home semi-final against Somerset or Nottinghamshire, captain Ryan ten Doeschate said: "I think we’ve played beautifully throughout the campaign with a good number of guys stepping up at crucial times to win games for us.
"Like any good team, we’ve relied on a core group of players, and Alastair Cook, Ravi Bopara and Tom Westley have stood out with the bat throughout. The bowling unit have interchanged well too, with Jamie Porter and the spinners coming in to do fantastically for us. We’ve looked good in all compartments of our game and that’s probably why we’re going through to the semis as group winners."
Debutant Imran Qayyum, a 23-year-old spinner bagged two wickets including the prized scalp of Cook. "That was special, he said. "To get England’s greatest Test batsman with my fifth ball felt pretty good. I went for a few more runs than I wanted to thereafter, but that’s a wicket I’ll always remember."
Kent Spitfires: DJ Bell-Drummond, SR Dickson, SA Northeast*, Z Crawley, AJ Ball, AJ Blake, CJ Haggett, AP Rouse†, CF Hartley, Imran Qayyum, IAA Thomas
Essex Eagles: V Chopra, AN Cook, T Westley, RS Bopara, RN ten Doeschate*, Ashar Zaidi, JS Foster†, DW Lawrence, SR Harmer, N Wagner, JA Porter
Kent won the toss and elected to field
Essex Eagles 2pts Kent Spitfires 0pts