Win keeps Essex's hopes alive
Essex 77 for 2 beat Netherlands 51 for 3 by eight wickets (D/L method)
Essex beat Netherlands by eight wickets under the Duckworth/Lewis method having been set 74 from 16 overs to win the Clydesdale Bank 40 Group B match at Chelmsford. The victory keeps alive the county's hopes of reaching the semi-final stages of the competition after Ravi Bopara hit an unbeaten 43 including 28 off one over from Mohammed Kashif as Essex reached 77 for 2 from eight overs to complete the win.
Bopara and Mark Pettini had posted 47 for the first wicket before Brad Kruger struck twice in one over to gain some consolation for the Dutch side. Pettini was caught by Bas Zuiderent at midwicket for 31 and three balls later, Ryan ten Doeschate, playing against his international colleagues, was bowled for 2.
However, Bopara decided to make his positive move and plundered the hapless Kashif for two sixes and four other boundaries to wrap up an effortless win for his side. Having chosen to bat first, the visitors had reached 29 for 3 from just over 13 overs after an hour's play when rain swept across the County Ground in earnest and continued for 30 minutes before abating.
Although the pitch was covered immediately, the intensity of the downpour soon left the surrounds and bowlers run-ups saturated with play ultimately delayed for three and a half hours. Umpires Jeremy Lloyds and Michael Gough made the first of four inspections at 4.00pm but were concerned that areas of the playing square were unsafe. Three further inspections in bright sunshine followed with the crowd growing increasingly restless.
Finally the officials decided at 6.00pm conditions had improved sufficiently to allow Netherlands to continue their innings for a further 2.3 overs with the match reduced to 16 overs per side. Wilf Diepeveen and Zuiderent than added a further 22 runs from their remaining 15 deliveries with the CB40 debutant on 14 and Zuiderent 15 not out as the Netherlands innings closed on 51 for 3.