Essex show their one-day prowess
Essex 194 for 3 beat Lancashire 190 by seven wickets
Lonwabo Tsotsobe produced his best performance of the season so far to inspire Essex to a seven-wicket victory over Lancashire in their Clydesdale Bank 40 duel at Chelmsford.
The South African paceman, after conceding 13 in his opening over, recovered to emerge with figures of four wickets for 43 runs from 7.4 overs as the visitors were bowled out for 190. It was never enough to test Essex who, after losing two early wickets, won with 35 deliveries to spare following half-centuries from skipper James Foster and Ravi Bopara.
Following the brisk start given to them by Stephen Moore and Karl Brown, Lancashire will have been bitterly disappointed to have been bowled out in the 37th over. The openers looked completely at ease as they proceeded to 87 in the 14th over - but then left-arm spinner Tim Phillips struck to have Moore taken low down at backward point by Graham Napier for 45.
Tsotsobe then claimed the first of his wickets when Brown drove to cover for 47, Jaik Mickleburgh holding on to a firmly struck drive. From then onwards, Lancashire completely lost their way as wickets fell at regular intervals. In between Tsotsobe inflicting further damage, Bopara struck twice in an over to get rid of Paul Horton and Farveez Maharoof.
Once the openers were dismissed only Gareth Cross and Luke Procter, with 24 each, managed to reach double figures. Bopara finished with 3 for 49 from his eight overs, while Phillips collected 2 for 32 from his full allocation.
Lancashire spirits were briefly lifted when they quickly got rid of the openers when Essex replied. Mark Pettini departed leg before to Sajid Mahmood for seven, while Alastair Cook, having made 17 of the 32 on the board, swung the same bowler into the hands of Procter at deep square-leg.
But then Bopara and Foster, who scored half-centuries in the victory over Nottinghamshire by the same margin a day earlier, took charge. Without the need to take risks they put on 135 in 24 overs before Foster was stumped by Cross off Simon Kerrigan for 77 that arrived off 76 balls and contained nine fours.
Bopara, who enjoyed a life on 17 when wicketkeeper Cross put down a catch, finished unbeaten on a 75 that spanned 76 deliveries and included just five boundaries.