Twenty20 Cup round-up July 1, 2006

Essex go top after beating Surrey

Cricinfo staff

Essex 188 for 6 (Bopara 83) defeated Surrey 188 for 7 (Ramprakash 54, Batty 59) by four wickets
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Mark Ramprakash made a scorching fifty but in vain as Surrey slipped © Getty Images

Although Sri Lanka were busily making their innings look like a Twenty20 up at Headingley, there was only one official game in the competition on Saturday and that was at The Oval where Essex defeated Surrey to leap to the top of the table.

Rikki Clarke won the toss and chose to bat but he was quickly regretting his decision. Darren Gough dealt Surrey an early blow when he prised out the big-blasting James Benning first ball. Andy Bichel was in the wickets again, he grabbed two, as did Tim Phillips. Jon Batty and Mark Ramprakash both made fifties to lift Surrey to 188 for 7 from their 20 overs.

Essex didn't make the best start to their innings, slipping to 7 for 2 after they lost both their openers Mark Pettini (0) and Ronnie Irani, for 1. Gough and Ravi Bopara set about rebuilding and put on 69 for the third wicket, which laid the foundation for the victory. Bopara went on to make 83 and was out shortly before the end of the match, with the job very nearly done. Ryan ten Doeschate and James Middlebrook saw Essex home with ten balls to spare.

The wheels have rather come off Surrey's campaign, after they raced to wins in their first two matches. There's still time to rescue matters, though, and book their place in the semi-finals.