James Foster produced a magical innings to rescue a tie for Essex at the Essex County Ground. The former Eagles skipper struck an unbeaten 75 off 50 balls to guide the hosts to an unlikely share of the spoils in a thrilling encounter against Somerset in Chelmsford. In a rain-affected encounter in gloomy Essex, Somerset were inserted by Ravi Bopara and lost an immediate wicket when Johan Myburgh chipped David Masters to Bopara at Mid on before rain forced the players off for a prolonged period of time. That reduced the clash to just 29-Overs per side and despite losing Peter Trego soon after the restart the visitors recovered nicely with Adam Hose and skipper Jim Allenby leading the riposte. The pair shared 141 for the third wicket; they first steadied the ship in tricky conditions before flexing their muscles to power some much-needed boundaries. Hose reached his maiden fifty for the West Country Boys off 62 balls including seven fours, the opener kicked on further though as he continued to impress with some flowing drives and clever touch play. He batted 20-overs alongside his skipper as the duo added vital runs to boost the visitors total, Allenby half-century continued his fine recent form, he struck five fours and a six on his way to a 40-ball fifty. He departed though with the visitors on 157, the Somerset captain struck a ball to Bopara in the deep who took a fine catch to give Ryan ten Doeschate a sole wicket in the day. His departure sparked a late innings collapse adding just 22-runs in the last five overs. Indeed, Graham Napier struck twice in the next over to peg back the visitors. He first removed the dangerous Hose who found Nick Browne to depart for a well-made 77. The Essex all-rounder then produced a clever slower ball Yorker to deceive James Hildreth (2) to leave Somerset on 162/5. Bopara returned to the attack to snare three quick wickets to help restrict the West Country men to 179/8 from their 29 overs. Duckworth/Lewis reduced the hosts target to 177 after the earlier rain, which proved crucial come the end of the game.
Tim Groenewald (3-30) and Lewis Gregory (4-23) combined to leave the Eagles in early trouble on 36/5. Browne, Tom Westley and Jesse Ryder all fell cheaply to give Groenewald impressive figures to leave the hosts staring down the barrel of another Chelmsford defeat. Ashar Zaidi and Bopara briefly led the recovery after Dan Lawrence and ten Doeschate had fallen in the same over, but when Zaidi (21) and Bopara (19) fell in quick succession to Jamie Overton there looked to be only one winner, and that was the visitors, Somerset. Foster had other ideas, though, fresh from a crucial knock to guide the Eagles to a memorable success in Southampton, the wicketkeeper produced yet another magical one-day knock. He added a vital 48 with Napier with the former skipper dominating the scoring, but when the last recognised batsman in Napier hit Gregory down the throat of long on, the game was left to Foster to save. And save it he did in magnificent fashion, smashing lusty blows when needed as well as rotating the strike cleverly to ensure he faced the majority of the bowling. He was left with the last man Matthew Quinn when Master fell with 38 still required. But such was the class of Foster’s innings, the Auckland-born number 11 only had to survive four balls. Foster, meanwhile, timed his aggression and placement brilliantly to lead the Eagles within touching distance. They needed 16 from the final over, with Foster on strike they were marginal favourites, and even more so when the knocked half of those off in the first two balls. A couple of dots followed and now the former skipper was under immense pressure, but he was calmness personified striking a six to leave the hosts requiring two from the final ball. Gregory dragged back his length outside off-stump for his final delivery and the wicketkeeper could only swipe and miss. Quinn though ran through to the danger end to ensure the Eagles would seal the most unlikely of draws. Foster, though, was a picture of frustration kicking the turf in disgust after taking his side so close to victory. But his knock was yet another example of what a vital cog in the wheel he is for the Eagles. Both sides remain unbeaten in the competition but fall a point behind leaders Glamorgan.
Elsewhere, in the South Group, Glamorgan continued their fine recent white ball form to go a point clear at the top. After morning rain reduced the clash to 42-overs a side, the Welsh County asked Kent to bat first in tricky conditions, and they struggled to 120/3 when Sam Billings joined the impressive Joe Denly to spark a quite brilliant recovery. The duo shared a record fourth-wicket stand for the county as both struck brilliant centuries to guide the hosts to a respectable score. Denly (104 not out) hit eight boundary fours and a couple of maximums in his 102-ball stay to help his side to 290/3 from their allotted overs. But it was Billings who stole the show. The England man struck a magnificent 53-ball hundred to dominate the record stand. Indeed, it took Billings just 17-balls to go from fifty to his ton finding the boundary at ease to propel his sides score from decent to good. It’s a promising sign for England as the youngster looks in great nick ahead of the upcoming ODI and T20 matches against the Sri Lankans. Their total of 290 was boosted by a couple after Duckworth/Lewis intervened to leave the visitors requiring 293 to win. Half-centuries from David Lloyd and Will Bragg laid the foundations for the brutal Colin Ingram to finish the job off in style. The South African showed his class to guide his side to another limited overs success. He peppered the short boundary taking a particular liking to the pace of David Griffiths and Mitch Claydon. James Tredwell collected three wickets to continual peg back the visitors, but Ingram’s class shone through, the South African smashed an unbeaten 95 from just 53-balls including six maximums and four boundary fours to ensure Glamorgan would extend their unbeaten run in the Royal London One-Day Cup.
Meanwhile, Sussex secured their first Royal London One-Day Cup since August 2014 with victory over Middlesex at Hove. Rain reduced the encounter to just 32-overs per side and despite losing openers Chris Nash and Luke Wright early, who both fell to the impressive Toby Roland-Jones, Phil Salt and Ross Taylor led the charge. The pair shared 125 to help to lead the hosts to a decent looking total. Salt looked mightily impressive during his maiden half-century striking 10 fours and a six during his stay at the crease. He eventually fell for 81 from 76-balls just three runs after Ross Taylor fell for a well-made 54.Ben Brown added a quick-fire 31 off just 13 balls to propel the hosts to 222/7. England’s Chris Jordan then starred with the ball to help the Sharks to reduce their London counterparts to just 191 despite a Brendon McCullum top scoring with 44 for the visitors. Jordan removed the dangerous Dawid Malan early to immediately put the visitors on the back foot. McCullum and Eoin Morgan attempted to lead the riposte though sharing 40 for the third wicket before the hard-hitting New Zealander fell to youngster George Garton (2-43). And when Morgan fell for 31, the momentum was all with the hosts. James Franklin (28) and Nick Gubbins (37) offered some resistance but Jordan returned to ensure victory would go to the hosts. He took two in an over to leave the Londoners on 160/9 with the wickets of Roland-Jones and Nathan Sowter. James Fuller (19) and the injury stricken Tom Helm added 31 for the final wicket to added some late nerves but Jordan finished it off bowling Fuller to collect his five-fer to lead his side to a 31-run success.
In the North Group, only one game had a natural conclusion as Worcestershire won a low-scoring encounter at Chester-Le-Street. After seeing the game reduced to 22-overs per side, Durham collapsed to a below-par total. Joe Leach (2-18), Ed Barnard (2-18), Chris Russell (2-23) and Brett D’Oliveira (2-9) shared eight wickets as the hosts fell to a disappointing 90 all out. Indeed, only Mark Stoneman and Paul Collingwood past double figures as the Pears ripped through the hosts batting line-up. It looked as though Durham were caught in two minds, whether to be aggressive and produce a T20-esque innings or to treat it as a traditional Royal London One-Day Cup match. They fell well short of par though and it was all too easy for the visitors. Chris Rushworth (3-19) briefly threatened to spoil the Pears party grabbing three early wickets bowling Leach and Joe Clarke and trapping Tom Kohler-Cadmore LBW. But the ever-reliable Alexei Kervezee and Brett D’Oliveira ensured there would be no further scares. The duo shared an unbroken 60-run stand to guide the visitors to victory. The Dutchmen top scored with an unbeaten 37, whilst D’Oliveira’s fine season continued as he finished unbeaten on 20 to cap a fine all-round display as the visitors completed their success with 17-balls to spare.
Alviro Petersen and Luke Proctor broke a Blackpool record before rain ruined Lancashire’s encounter with Nottinghamshire. After losing Tom Smith for a duck, Petersen and Proctor both struck half-centuries during a record one-day stand at the out ground, the duo shared 151 for the second wicket to better David Lloyd and Farokh Engineer partnership in 1976. But when the rain swept in in mid-afternoon it brought a premature end to proceedings in Blackpool to deny the visitors a chance of going top. When the rain came, Lancashire were 157/1 with Petersen unbeaten on 73, and Proctor 63 not out.
Even less play was possible in the games involving Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Leicestershire and Northants who were all less frustrated by the wet weather. At Chesterfield only one over was possible, a maiden bowled by Tim Bresnan as rain wrecked any chance of further play. Whilst at Wantage Road just the two overs were possible as Josh Cobb and Adam Rossington guided the hosts to 12 without loss when the rain returned.
Reports by David Bowden (@Bowdenwhu)
All Alastair Cook Alex Hales BBC Radio Commentary Ben Coad Ben Duckett Birmingham Bears Chris Read County Championship County Cricket Dan Kingdom Darren Sammy David Bowden Day/Night Cricket Derbyshire Durham England Cricket Essex Glamorgan Gloucestershire Hampshire Harry Hill James Anderson James Vince Jamie Ramage Joe Root Jofra Archer Jonny Bairstow Kent Kevin Hand Watch Kevin Hand-Watch Lancashire Leicestershire Mark Kidger Middlesex Natwest Blast Neil Harris Northamptonshire Nottinghamshire Previews Retrospective Reports RLODC Round Ups Round-ups Season Review Somerset Stuart Broad Surrey Sussex T20 Blast Team Of The Week Virdi Vitality Blast Warwickshire Wocestershire Worcestershire Yorkshire