Ravi Bopara century in vain
Somerset 177 for 4 beat Essex 173 for 6 by six wickets
Ravi Bopara celebrated his England call-up with an unbeaten century at Chelmsford but it was not enough to save Essex from defeat against Somerset in their Friends Provident t20 battle.
Bopara's 105 led Essex to a total of 173 for 6 but the visitors were to ease to victory with six wickets and five balls to spare. Bopara battled throughout the innings, although he needed a big slice of luck when Murali Kartik put down an easy catch at midwicket after making just 16.
He was to make good his escape by going on to reach his century by smashing the last three balls of the innings sent down by Kieron Pollard for six. Bopara struck six sixes and eight fours during his 62-ball effort and so dominated the innings that the next highest contributor was Mark Pettini with 21.
But Somerset were soon in the ascendancy when they replied as openers Marcus Trescothick and Peter Trego raised the 50 in the fifth over. Trescothick did not produce the fireworks that saw him complete a 13-ball half-century in the previous game against Hampshire, but he still produced a series of thrilling strokes.
He completed his 50, his third in succession in the competition, and went on to make 78 from 51 deliveries.
Trescothick was finally caught on the cover boundary attacking left arm spinner Tim Phillips but not before he had helped himself to three sixes and nine fours.
His departure came in the 15th over following a stand of 101 in a dozen overs with James Hildreth, who was content to play the supporting role.
Hildreth went on to make 43 from 35 balls before he was trapped lbw by Bopara, leaving Zander de Bruyn and Jos Buttler to lead Somerset to a success which enabled them to leapfrog Essex in the table.
They now occupy second place and will be seeking to at least occupy that position over the remaining matches to guarantee themselves a home tie in the quarter-finals.