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May 5, 2008
New Zealanders 355 and 195 (Mills 53*, Chambers 3-37) beat Essex 258 and 200 (Cook 57, O'Brien 3-54, Mason 3-36) by 92 runs
New Zealand were given a boost ahead of their match against England Lions this Thursday with a 92-run win over Essex at Chelmsford. Set 293 to win, Essex faltered to 200 all out, with Alastair Cook top-scoring with 57, while Iain O'Brien and Michael Mason shared six wickets.
It was a tall ask for Essex, and much rested on Cook's shoulders at the top of the order. After Ross Taylor dropped him on nought yesterday, Cook was threatening to make New Zealand pay with a solid 57 from 126 balls. He and Tom Westley pottered along without great intent, though they weren't helped by the often wide bowling from New Zealand's opening attack. But their patience paid off; Westley was caught at cover, and Ravi Bopara and Mark Pettini fell within an over of eachother to leave Essex struggling on 87 for 4.
Once Cook fell - followed two balls later by James Foster for a duck - Essex still required a further 193 to win. And though Ryan ten Doeschate spent nearly two hours compiling 38, wickets continued to fall at the other end and O'Brien wrapped up a convincing win by bowling Alex Tudor in the 71st over.
New Zealand will be encouraged that they coped without the services of their captain, Daniel Vettori, whose split finger will rule him out of his side's final warm-up before the first Test, a four-day match at The Rose Bowl.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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