Essex 249 for 4 (Westley 84, Ryder 71*) beat Lancashire 247 for 7 (Croft 51, Salisbury 4-55) by six wickets
Tom Westley and Matt Salisbury starred for Essex as they easily beat Lancashire by six wickets in the Royal London Cup at Chelmsford to claim their second win in the competition. After 21-year-old Salisbury picked up a career-best 4 for 55 in his allocation of 10 overs, Westley struck a superb 84 as his side got home with 71 deliveries to spare.
On a pitch containing very little pace, Westley was on course for his third limited-overs century of the summer until he hit offspinner Arron Lilley to deepish midwicket where Steven Croft dived forward to pull off a fine catch.
Until that moment, Westley's only moment of indiscretion came when he edged Kyle Jarvis into the hands of Ashwell Prince at second slip with only four to his name. But the delivery was deemed a no-ball and Westley went on to drive and pull with increasing authority to take the game away from the visitors.
His runs came from 91 balls and with the help of 10 fours and he shared in half-century stands with Greg Smith and Kishen Velani before he was dismissed. Westley's departure came with the total on 169 in the 30th over but his dismissal only brought together Jesse Ryder and Ryan ten Doeschate, and they hit a flurry of boundaries to condemn Lancashire to their third defeat in as many matches in the competition.
Ryder finished unbeaten with 71 from 52 balls that contained 10 boundaries including one six, while his captain ended with 26 during an unbroken stand of 80 in nine overs.
Lancashire's batsmen had earlier struggled to make an impact, managing only 31 in the 10 overs of Powerplay, during which they lost Usman Khawaja when he drove Graham Napier to mid-on. Karl Brown needed 79 balls to gather a laborious 47 before he was caught behind by James Foster off Ten Doeschate, the bowler having put him down in the covers shortly before. That left Lancashire 114 for 3 in the 30th over.
Paul Horton needed 55 deliveries to make 49, driving a return catch to Salisbury while the young paceman also got rid of top-scorer Croft for 51 from 59 balls with the help of wicketkeeper Foster. Salisbury's other victims were Wayne White and Prince who drove to ten Doeschate stationed at mid-on to end an innings of 18 which comprised 40 deliveries.
The visitors only made steady rather than spectacular progress throughout their innings with the only six coming off the last ball of the innings when Jordan Clark lifted a Salisbury delivery into the crowd
Essex's success was only their second victory in their last seven limited-overs matches and ended a run of four successive defeats at Chelmsford to get their white-ball season back on track.