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Essex 332 (Westley 109, Roelofsen 77) beat Kent 149 (Compton 52, Snater 5-29) by 182 runs
Tom Westley steered Essex to their first Royal London Cup win of the season with the sixth one-day century of his career.
The Essex captain laid the foundations for a 182-run demolition of Kent in the latest Battle of the Bridge with a third-wicket partnership of 184 in 30 overs with newcomer Grant Roelofsen. Westley contributed 109 from 101 balls, while Roelofsen chipped in with a 79-ball 77, his 14th score above fifty in List A cricket, the others in his native South Africa.
However, that Essex were able to set a target of 332 was largely thanks to a late burst of 41 from 22 deliveries by Shane Snater that steadied a ship that at one stage looked in danger of running aground. Kent's 20-year-old seamer Joey Evison took some stick but finished with career-best figures of 3 for 62.
Ben Compton anchored the Kent reply, but without injecting any urgency or pace into his innings of 52 from 82 balls as wickets fell all around him. Snater finally removed Compton to take five wickets in 14 balls and return List A-best figures of 5 for 29.
Westley and Roelofsen joined forces after Essex - who elected to bat on a phew-what-a-scorcher sort of afternoon on a flat pitch - lost two wickets in six balls. Feroze Khushi was first to go when he got a leading edge to give Matt Quinn a return catch. Fellow opener Josh Rymell followed lbw to one that rapped his upper thigh.
Westley accelerated through his eighties, the handbrake off, with three fours in an over from Nathan Gilchrist that ultimately cost 19 runs. A characteristic flick off his legs for his 13th four took Westley to a 96-ball century.
Roelofsen's anchorman role came to an end after 79 balls with a momentary lapse of concentration when Navdeep Saini sent his middle-stump cartwheeling. Westley followed almost immediately when he scooped Joe Denly to Evison on the fence at long-on.
That wicket-taking combination was reversed with Denly taking a spectacular diving catch at mid-on off Evison to account for Aaron Beard. Four balls later Aron Nijjar, like Westley, picked out Evison on the rope to hand Hamid Qadri a wicket.
With Essex slipping from 217 for 2 to 250 for 6 in five overs, it needed some agricultural hitting from Snater to push Essex towards a defendable total. Saini lost his composure completely with two balls above waist height to Robin Das that forced him out of the attack in the midst of an over. The second free-hit was smashed for six over square leg.
More drama was to come as Quinn contributed a wide of his own to the 10-ball over, which concluded with Das finding Finch on the midwicket boundary to end a 49-run partnership inside four overs with Snater.
In response, Kent were never really in the chase. They lost Tawanda Muyeye in the sixth over trying to play Jamie Porter to leg but falling to Das at point. Ollie Robinson attacked from the start, hitting two sixes in his 31 before he flicked Porter to deep extra cover where Snater took a one-handed, rolling catch. Snater's drop of Denly was not costly as three runs later Khushi took a stunning catch above his head at short cover.
Kent's fourth wicket went when Alex Blake flicked Jamal Richards into Beard's hands on the square-leg boundary. Harry Finch managed just a dozen from 28 balls before he chipped Snater to mid-on. Evison followed going for a suicidal second run to Snater in the deep and Roelofsen, behind the stumps, completed the run-out.
All the time Compton was slowly accumulating, but at no great pace. His fifty took 76 balls - Westley's had taken 44, Roelofsen 52 - and included just two fours. But as soon as he had raised his bat, he started to run out of partners as Snater claimed three wickets in an over before completing the rout by removing Compton.
Royal London One-Day Cup