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Bowlers falter in CB40 defeat
WORCESTERSHIRE’S bowlers gave their batsmen too much to do as Essex were able to pile up an unassailable 269-4 in yesterday’s Clydesdale Bank40 contest at New Road, running out victorious by 25 runs.
Going into the contest as the Group ‘A’ whipping boys, the south-east outfit showed nothing of the form that had seen them win just once previously in seven outings in the 40-over competition and they comfortably restricted the Royals’ reply to 244-7.
Skipper Mark Pettini smashed a superb hundred and was well supported early on by Tom Westley (62), before Ryan ten Doeschate’s 24-ball assault saw him hit the last ball of the innings for six to bring up his half-century as Essex posted a huge total of 269-4. While Phil Hughes was at the crease, the home side were always in with a shout, but the run-rate continued to crank up the pressure and when the Aussie left-hander was lbw to Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh for 68, the game was up for Steve Rhodes ’ men.
Westley and Pettini rattled up their century stand in the 19th over, before the captain was handed a major let-off on 65 when substitute fielder Matt Pardoe let the ball slip through his fingers and over the ropes.
Owais Shah weighed in with 28, but then miscued a drive to Dave Lucas at cover off Jack Shantry as Essex reached 178-2 in the 32nd over.
Given such a solid platform, Pettini and new man ten Doeschate had carte blanche to free their arms and did so to devastating effect.
Having reached his hundred off just 106 balls, with seven fours and two sixes, Pettini promptly launched his third maximum, before holing out to Daryl Mitchell off Lucas for 111. Adam Wheater didn’t last long, but ten Doeschate heaped further misery on the hosts with his brutal cameo.
As Worcestershire set about responding to the Essex total, Vikram Solanki seemed out of sorts and soon departed for a 17-ball seven.
Moeen Ali then batted like a world-beater in reaching a 43-ball 42, but undid all his good work with an airy waft at Maurice Chambers and a thin edge through to keeper Wheater.
Hughes and Cameron steadied the ship with a 55-ball half-century stand, but the latter was run-out following a hesitant single and captain Mitchell lasted just four balls before edging Westley through to Wheater, while Neil Pinner (15) was then trapped lbw.
Hughes and Gareth Andrew (32 off 22 balls) gave the home fans a glimmer of hope with a quickfire 67-run partnership, but when they departed within two overs of each other, Essex were able to secure their win despite the best efforts of Ben Scott and Brett D’Oliveira.