Harbhajan five seals easy win

Essex 314 (Foster 79) beat Netherlands 197 (Harbhajan 5-37) by 117 runs

Harbhajan Singh took five wickets as Essex avenged their CB40 defeat against the Netherlands earlier in the season with a comfortable victory in their Group A tie at Colchester.

Ravi Bopara's return to action following a month's absence for personal reasons lasted just 11 balls from which he gathered only a single. Bopara had missed England's second Test with South Africa at Headingley and also pulled out of a an England Lions fixture.

A loose stroke outside the off stump against Mudassar Bukhari ended with wicketkeeper Wesley Barresi taking a fine diving catch to send him back to the pavilion. Bopara later found consolation with three wickets.

In contrast, half-centuries at better than a run a ball from Tom Westley, Ryan ten Doeschate and James Foster lifted Essex to a total of 314 for 8, their highest total in 40-over cricket. Netherlands could only respond with 197 all out

Westley smashed nine fours and a six while making 59 from 40 balls as he opened the innings, before being dismissed when he offered a return catch to the first delivery sent down by left-arm spinner Pieter Seelaar.

Ten Doeschate made 52 from 46 balls with the help of three fours and a six before he also fell to Seelaar, this time leg before.

Foster upped the tempo with 79 from only 48 deliveries before departing in the last over of the innings when bowled by Logan van Beek.

Faced with their huge task, Holland did manage to get off to a fine start and the first 50 was raised in the sixth over thanks to Stephan Myburgh whose quickfire 33 included three sixes before he was caught in the deep attacking off-spinner Harbhajan Singh.

That was followed by a partnership of 69 in a dozen overs between Michael Swart and Tom Cooper before the latter also became a victim of Harbhajan, trapped lbw for 35 reverse sweeping to give the bowler his second wicket.

Swart's commendable effort came to an end shortly afterwards. Immediately after completing his half-century from 51 balls, he departed lbw to Bopara and following his dismissal, the visitors never threatened to find the acceleration needed to pose any sort of threat.