Essex off to a flier

Three half centuries help Essex to victory

Last updated: 27th April 2008   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Essex off to a flier

Flower: controlled knock

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Friends Provident Trophy - South/East Division
Chelmsford
Essex 291-8 Innings Complete (G W Flower 75, R N ten Doeschate 61, R S Bopara 59) v Sussex 141-6 (M J Prior 50)
Essex beat Sussex by 14 runs (D/L Method)

Grant Flower made 75 in 90 balls including six boundaries to help set up a 14-run victory for Essex over Sussex, their second in two Friends Provident matches.

Replying to 291-8, Sussex had reached 31 without loss from eight overs when there was a lengthy stoppage for rain.

When the action resumed, the visitors were set a revised target of 156 from 24 overs and it was one that proved beyond them despite a valiant effort from Matt Prior.

The former England wicketkeeper struck 50 from 57 balls but once he was caught on the long-on boundary by Andre Nel, the Sussex challenge faded.

The Essex total was built around half-centuries from Ravi Bopara, Flower and Ryan ten Doeschate after Alastair Cook had once again failed to make an impact.

The England left-handed opener scored only 48 in his two trips to the middle in the LV County Championship against Derbyshire - his only other outing - and on this occasion he made just eight before falling lbw to Robin Martin-Jenkins.

Magnificent

Cook's departure led to the arrival of Bopara who was to maintain his magnificent start to the summer with a stylish 59 from 71 deliveries that contained six boundaries.

It took a superb low catch at long-off by Martin-Jenkins to see the back of Bopara who in all forms of cricket so far this campaign has now scored 506 in six innings, including centuries in the opening two Championship games.

Bopara shared in a stand of 115 in 20 overs for the third wicket with Flower who batted with fluency while gathering 75, again with the help of half a dozen boundaries.

He was caught by a diving Michael Yardy at cover to provide Martin-Jenkins with another success, after which ten Doeschate heaped further misery on a toiling Sussex attack.

He struck 61 from 53 deliveries and helped himself to two sixes and four fours before he was bowled by James Kirtley, a dismissal that prompted James Foster to open his shoulders and gather an unbeaten 35 from 23 balls to lead Essex to their formidable total.

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